Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the start of a brand new Star Wars era. However, critics and fan reactions to the Sequel Trilogy weren’t as positive as Disney would have hoped for. While a lot went wrong during the production of the sequel movies, it can’t be denied that the new era got a great start with The Force Awakens. After all, it made $2.1 billion as per Box Office Mojo. With that earning, one would expect Disney to be rolling in cash. However, reportedly, the house of mouse took home only a quarter of that.
Disney Takes Home Over $500 Million On Star Wars: The Force Awakens
In a recent report by Forbes, the outlet revealed that Disney took home $588.2 million of Star Wars: The Force Awaken’s profits. After all, it did spend a whopping amount on making the film as well. As per the site, the company spent $533.2 million on its budget. That number easily makes the film the big-budgeted project of all time. However, earning a profit of only about half a billion on an extravagantly budgeted movie that actually made $2.1 billion at the box office, might seem less. But it makes The Force Awakens the top-performing film among Disney’s Star Wars movies.
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What helped the film was the fact that Disney filmed it in the UK. Studios shooting there can be reimbursed for up to 25% of the expenses incurred. The film got $86.6 million reimbursed and that brought down the overall budget to less than half a billion at $446.6 million. As for the $2.1 billion earned at the box office, the theaters took away about half of it. So that ultimately left the house of mouse with $533.2 million. Forbes states that this actually makes The Force Awakens a ‘tentpole’ film. As per the reputed site, this means:
“Tentpole is an industry term for a big-budget movie that makes enough income to compensate the studio for its less profitable productions. Few movies meet this description better than The Force Awakens.”
Even though the first Star Wars sequel film filled Disney’s coffers to the brim, the company never spent that extravagant amount on any other movie based in the galaxy far far away.
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The Only Star Wars Film That Lost Disney Money
Forbes reports that even though Disney pulled back budgets on subsequent Star Wars sequel films, their production costs still remained humungous. For example, The Rise of Skywalker had a mega budget of $503 million to the exact. However, The Last Jedi’s production cost was significantly pulled back to $362 million. Thankfully, all of the films made back their production money and then some more in profits. All, except one. Solo: A Star Wars Story had a sizeable budget of $330 million, but didn’t make it back.
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As per the financial statements filed by the production company funding Solo, the end cost of the film was higher than the agreed-upon budget. According to Forbes, $330.4 million was the budget for the movie. Since it was filmed in the UK, $59.6 million got reimbursed, which brought down the spending to a respectable $270.8 million. But the film flopped at the box office, making only $392.9 million. In the end, Disney was left with a loss of about $74.4 million.
Right now, multiple Star Wars films are reported to be in development. There’s one helmed by Patty Jenkins and another by Taika Waititi. But no release date has been announced yet. However, the Star Wars universe is in full swing on Disney+ with various shows like The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the upcoming Ahsoka. So now fans are just waiting for the galaxy far far away to rule the silver screens again.
The Mandalorian season 3 is streaming on Disney+.