Here is the hottest new trend for large franchises -- lower the expectations. As in, lower them a lot. Not wanting to sound like a broken record, but I can't help but constantly bring up the fact that Ubisoft and 20th Century Fox don't seem to care about box office numbers for Assassin's Creed. What sinister plot do the companies have on the backend? One can only guess. Or are they just trying to keep expectations low? For a video game adaptation we can understand, as these typically are er, not very good. But for a franchise like Star Wars? What gives?
While expectations have already been lowered for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story thanks to re-shoots, Disney CEO Bob Iger isn't exactly helping either. While talking to investors in regards to outside investment, the exec explained that Disney did not need outside investment. Though their films are expensive to make, they are running on the strategy that "less is more." Well, in regards to the numbers of the films, not their budget. This explains why Disney felt the need to have Pixel, Marvel and Lucasfilm. Each property was capable of seeing every film produced go on to become a major box office event. Marvel and Lucasfilm alone are seeing box office hauls averaging just short of $800 million.
With this sort of average, it begins to make sense why Iger would start campaigning to at least lower box office expectations for Rogue One. Even if the film could rake in $500 million worldwide, it would fall far short of this new franchise average.
Rogue One an Experiment of Sorts
Iger acknowledges that, though Rogue One is piggybacking a franchise, it is an original story of storts. While audiences typically hate this fact, but sequels and remakes of familiar stories typically do better in ticket sales. Explaining that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is an "experiment, of sorts," he does also drop a bit of positive.
"It's really interesting in terms of Star Wars storytelling. Star Wars has only been told as a saga, and this is a moment in time... we love what we've seen."
He was also sure to downplay the property as well.
"We never felt it would do the level that Force Awakens did. The level of interest in Rogue One is as high as it was for The Force Awakens."
So now he's just trying to confuse. So the level of interest is just as high, but expecting lower ticket sales just the same? Just as we thought - somebody is trying to drop expectations.
More Star Wars Coming
Though Iger seems unsure about this installment to the Star Wars franchise, he is confident that plenty more Star Wars films are coming.
I had a meeting yesterday with Kathy Kennedy and we mapped out — well, we reviewed — the Star Wars plans that we have 'til 2020. We have movies in development for Star Wars 'til then, and we started talking about what we’re going to do in 2021 and beyond.