Okay, so everyone understands the reference here? I don’t have to over explain it, do I?
Sometimes I get nervous when I do a comic that isn’t as formulaic as “set-up, explanation, beat, punch line.” But then again, maybe I’m over-estimating myself.
All I know is that waddle under George Lucas’ chin is pretty friggin’ distracting. He looks like he’s been cross-bred with a great African toad. That beard he sports isn’t so much a grooming choice any more, but a necessary device to indicate where his face ends and neck begins!
I know. That’s mean. But you like it when I’m snarky, don’t you? Don’t you?!
It’s kind of insane that Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith made $50 million on it’s opening day and another $108 million in the Friday to Sunday period immediately after. It’s especially insane when you compare it against the opening weekend tallys of it’s predecessors. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace did $65 million and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones did $80 million.
Of course there are things like inflation, ticket prices and the number of screens showing that you need to consider. For example, Revenge of the Sith showed on roughly 500 more screens than Attack of the Clones and 700 more screens than The Phantom Menace. When it’s been reported that recent years box office receipts have been in sharp decline, you have to wonder where are these other theaters are coming from.
Naturally, all of this box office posturing begs the question if this is information the average movie goer should even have access to.
There has been increased competitiveness between entertainment journalist outlets to report every shred of information about every production that is launched into theaters. Wrapped up in the coverage is how much the film makes. Less and less is there a question of quality. Now everyone wants to know how much a movie rakes in on it’s opening weekend. Anything less than $25 million dollars in those first three days is considered a failure. Compare that to 1977 when Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope movie did $7 in business it’s opening weekend and is widely considered to be the world’s first blockbuster – an international phenomenon!
Jeffery Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere had some interesting reflections on the topic in his “Wired” column. Spurred by Anne Thompson’s recent Hollywood Reporter column about America’s disinterest in the winners at Cannes, his focus shifted to Sith and it’s box office take.
“What does it mean when a dust storm blows across Kansas and everyone covers their faces and stays inside their home(s)?” asks Wells. “Is this something to jump up and down about, examine from this and that angle, compare statistically to previous dust storms, and talk about the various ramifications with dust-storm experts like Paul Dergarabedian? People can go to see Sith by the mega-millions and a tip of the hat to those who have shrewdly profited from this, but in a better, smarter and more spiritually focused world, editors and journalists would try to report this dispiriting phenomenon with a bit more perspective…and without quite so much of a ‘yea, team!’ cheerleader tone.”
It’s hard to find complaints in the logic, except to say that it is optimistic at best. Reporting statistical data about a movies performance plays directly to our competitive nature and Wells knows this. It’s not unlike reporting the stats of a baseball game. RBIs or errors. Utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things. It is “just a game,” after all. Merely entertainment. Movies should be viewed the same way.
All this said, the box office might of the Star Wars franchise makes it empirically impossible for the series to fade into the ether once Sith leaves theaters. Sure, there is talk of a couple TV series and I’m sure these characters will live on in a thousand different variations between comic books, video games, toys and novels. But for Lucas to definitively say “That’s it. No more movies.” is laughable.
Lucas may own the rights to his characters, sequels featuring said characters and the merchandising thereof, but it won’t last forever. In fact, I doubt it will even take 150 years. It wouldn’t surprise me if in the next 20 to 25 years that Lucas will turn over his outlines for Episodes VII, VIII and IX to someone else and says “Have at them. Oh… and be sure to wire me 80% of all the profits.” to ensure that not only will his children never have to work again, but the great-great-great-great grandchildren living in a colony on the moon that he will never meet will also never have need to fear manual labour.
The Star Wars franchise has netted Lucas a reported $2 BILLION in earnings. It’s too damn profitable to encase the thing in carbonite for the rest of time.
Just my two cents…
Mitch over at Nothing Nice to Say is running a week of guest strips while he gets on his feet after his move to Texas. Today’s guest comic came from Liz Prince, who draws and writes a positively adorable journal comic to her LiveJournal account.
I read through all of the comics that she’s posted and instantly fell in love with it. Reading her work is enough to inspire me to change gear and do a comic strictly on my life. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Probably ever since I stumbled onto Drew Weing’s old journal comic a few years ago. I also used to really enjoy Life With Leslie.
In many respects, Theater Hopper is a journal comic albeit with a vary narrow focus. Anything that doesn’t revolve around myself, Cami or Truman is the filler that keeps things “on topic.”
It would be nice to branch out someday and maybe do another small comic just for myself. But as things are, between my regular job, taking care of a house and being a husband, I just don’t have the time in my life to accommodate it. It feels like I barely have enough time to do Theater Hopper and that’s a damn shame.