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Are the franchises dying? Star Wars

Are the franchises dying?You Tube Video - The Acolyte Gets Destroyed, Et tu George? X-Men '97 - Nerdrotic Live

  • Nerdrotic (Gary Buechler): Our time has come and gone, Gen Xers. Our beloved franchises have been completely destroyed. And they're not even... nostalgia bait isn't even going to work anymore. It's done. So now it's going to be the next generation. That's fine. That's totally cool. But what a lost opportunity; Disney Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Star Trek. Books will be written "the decade of Hollywood fuck-ups." You couldn't even accidentally get something right.
  • Film Threat (Chris Gore): Now they're talking about doing a reboot of The Neverending Story? Are we scraping the bottom of the barrel? Next might be Krull or Logan's Run. Actually, I'd be okay with that! Or the Black Hole. You know what I mean?
  • Nerdrotic (Gary Buechler): I don't want to see modern Disney's take on The Black Hole!
  • Film Threat (Chris Gore): We're scraping the bottom of the barrel. The franchises are dying. If Lucasfilms/Disney released a Star Wars film now, how well would it do? I think it would do about as well as The Marvels, in terms of performance.

Disney appears to achieved complete helplessness in making a Star Wars movie that can please a large "Star Wars" size mass audience. If the opinions (like these above) reflect even just a solid quarter of what was a huge, pent-up and eager for something new audience that was awaiting The Force Awakens in 2015, then what's the upside? Winning them back? Part of the fanbase has inverted and is now dedicated to seeing Star Wars and Disney crash, no matter how much they say they're now "indifferent" to the franchise and Disney itself.

The Force Awakens churned out a $2 billion+ international box office and a reported pure profit (despite legendary "Hollywood accounting" tricks) of $500 million+ for Disney, something that impacted everything that followed in terms of budgets and expectations.

But in 2024, apparently, the Star Wars franchise has aged out from a mass youth audience (I don't know any teenagers or young adults who will admit to following the franchise, now) and with everyone else who stays up close and personal with Hollywood product, the following is fragmented into sections of fans that like (and hate) certain parts of the franchise history, with the most recent trilogy being the most loathed.

The largest group of reliable fans are grouped around the original trilogy and then the prequel trilogy. Though it was lambasted by many at the time of their release, a major re-evaluation has gone on for The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith, partially due to the reaction to the later Disney-led films.

Beyond what has happened to the earning power of a Star Wars branded film, the real issue seems to be the underlying production company, and that anything with a Disney label faces some opposition now in the movie marketplace, meanwhile there is a board of directors fight going on at the company itself as stockholders pressure the business to change the model that's led to so many money-losing ventures.

Burnishing The Brand

At one time, the name of a production company was of such little importance compared to the franchise name and film casting, and more importantly, fan word-of-mouth, that the production company label was basically irrelevant. This was not true of the Disney company which had a lock on kid entertainment and a certain reputation for family-friendly consistency.

But the phenomenon of franchises, the demand that turned into a glut of quickly produced (and badly quality controlled) product has blown up like a time bomb against the companies that rely on the loyalty of franchise fans.

How the companies choose to publicise their films and to engage with fandom at one time was rather demur in how humble their approach was, at least on the surface. But social media and the off-the-chain behavior of production and casting out voicing their sometimes rather cranky opinions about fans has pulled back the curtain in a way that is the moment of revelation about the Wizard of Oz, that is, that back behind all this stuff is an old guy (or girl) pulling levers.

Now the companies, protected in a way by being invisible in the old days, are now seen as simply fallible, and even hostile. In the special case of Disney this has seen the deterioration of a pristine brand which had a unique stranglehold on a segment of the entertainment audience, but now that appears to be heavily damaged and whether the rift can be healed is a tough question, no matter how smartly Disney conducts its public affairs going forward.

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Original Page January 2020