Star Wars: A Tidal Wave of Money Awakens

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I’m not sure why, but for some reason I got curious last night about whether movie theaters had to pay more to show Star Wars than they do for other movies. The answer is yes:

Theaters are under extra pressure now because Disney is demanding a giant box-office slice: “well north of 60 percent” of each ticket, B. Riley & Co. media analyst Eric Wold estimated, compared to an average of about 53 percent for all films since 2008….Disney is also requiring theaters keep the movie playing on large screens for four weeks at a minimum, longer than studios generally demand, Wold said. And because Disney owns some of the world’s most powerful film franchises — including the superheroes and animated universes of Marvel and Pixar — no theater wants to face the consequences of scuttling the premiere.

Over the next couple of weeks, I suspect I’m going to be asking again and again a question that’s been on my mind for a long time: how did Disney manage to buy the Star Wars franchise for only $4 billion? Surely it’s worth 20x earnings, and surely it delivers more than $200 million in profit per year. Right? What am I missing here?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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