I began my study of the film industry when I was 13. I was ill, and spent my 8th and 9th grade years home from school. To pass the time, I watched countless films, and read about even more. One of the most fascinating stories I’ve ever come across, is the tale of “Star Wars,” and how George Lucas built an empire that would make Palpatine/Darth Sidious jealous.
To put it as simply as possible: 20th Century Fox didn’t believe in the first “Star Wars.” It only got made because the head of the studio was really into “American Graffiti,” a film that put George Lucas up for two Academy Awards (Best Writing and Best Directing). So, when George decided to take a paltry $150,000 for his writing and directing efforts on Episode IV – in exchange for merchandising and sequel rights – the studio jumped at the opportunity. They were happy they got an Oscar nominated writer/director for next to nothing.
Don’t get me wrong, Fox made bank off of the movie’s box office, In fact, the first “Star Wars” is pretty much the reason that there even is still a 20th Century Fox. They had a string of flops before that flick, and the massive amount of money that it managed to take in, brought the studio back to financial stability. That only continued with Episode V and VI, which made boatloads more money.
Having said that – none of it matches the amount of money that George Lucas made off his initial deal. While they were in production on “The Empire Strikes Back,” and Fox was spending money to make money – George Lucas was just making money. Same goes for “Return of the Jedi.”
Fox did get lucky with the prequel trilogy, though. By that point, Lucas’ empire was strong, to say the very least. He funded those movies himself. That’s why they’re known as some of the most expensive independent films ever produced. All Fox did on those was provide distribution, and then pick up a check for their portion of the box office.
Fast forward a bit. George Lucas sells Lucas Film, and all its properties to Disney for an amount that can only be quantified as a fuckton of money. Now we have a hunch of new “Star Wars” movies coming out. In fact, next month, “Episode VII: The Force Awakens” is going to hit theaters, and people are absolutely amped. As they should be. “Star Wars” has a huge fan base, and they all had to sit through the hot garbage known as the prequel trilogy.
By all accounts, this new film seems to be a return to form. Harrison Ford even put his stamp of approval on it.
I know what you’re thinking, “he’s an actor, and it’s Disney – of course he put his stamp on it.”
In response to that, I say, “nah.”
Harrison Ford has been a cranky old man for longer than I’ve been alive. If he didn’t like this new movie, or had a bad time making it, he wouldn’t have been able to hide it. He would’ve stumbled onto whatever talk shows they forced him to do, mumbled through the interview, and then peaced out. Indiana Jones gives zero fucks. Know why? BECAUSE HE CAN!
Until Samuel L. Jackson dethroned him, Harrison Ford’s movies had the highest combined box office in the history of film. He can tell a studio they messed up on a film, and they’ll still hire him back. C.R.E.A.M. (if you don’t get the reference, then you can git out).
All right, all of the background is out of the way, so let’s get to why we’re here. Of course, “Star Wars” fans couldn’t be left alone to enjoy the resurgence of their treasured franchise. Someone just had to come along and poop all over the party. On this occasion, it was Fox News, some schmuck named Neil Cavuto, and some vapid blonde asshole by the name of Carley Shimkus.
Holy hell, right? This lost all credibility to me within minutes. That Cavuto schmuck says something about how “The Force Awakens” is going to make a ton of money, and then tries to sneak in, “even though Fox had nothing to do with it.”
WOW! The butthurt is strong with that studio. It can’t be a coincidence that this report aired on a channel owned by the corporation that should, logically, still own the whole franchise. All they had to do was look past their own egos, and see the changing of the tide. Science fiction was starting to kill in the 1970s.
“Westworld” and “Soylent Green” hit in 1973. “Logan’s Run” hit in 1976. Hell, the “Planet of the Apes” franchise was multiple entries deep, by the time “Star Wars” was even on its first draft. The precedent was set for success in the field of science fiction. The people in charge of Fox were too short sighted to see that. Now, they get to fight to keep X-Men profitable, while all their other properties float away.
The “Star Wars” franchise makes for 5 out of the top 10 box office hits that Fox has ever had. Number one is “Avatar,” which they’re going to sequel the fuck out of, until, I predict, that it ruins that entire franchise, and James Cameron is exposed for the hack that he is. They did “Dances With Wolves” in space. What else could that franchise possibly do? We’ve seen the special effects. They’re cool, but the story needs to get better, and it isn’t going to.
Moving on – Fox’s number 7 entry is “Home Alone,” a property that they’ve already driven into the ground with shitty sequels. Number 9 is “Night at the Museum,” and I’m pretty sure that franchise is done. Then there’s “Independence Day” and “X-Men: the Last Stand,” two of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I’m sure I’ll get heat for dumping on ID4, but real talk: that movie is terrible.
In case of confusion, here’s their top 10, all laid out:
2 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
3 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
4 Star Wars
5 Independence Day
6 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
7 Home Alone
8 Return of the Jedi
9 Night at the Museum
10 X-Men: The Last Stand
No wonder Fox is resorting to snippy “news” reports led by schmucks and assholes. They lost their most proven, and profitable franchise. Now they have no choice but to embrace the butthurt as they watch Disney rake in more and more of that #fuckmoney.
FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Wikipedia.org