December 2015 Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
December 3, 2015
December 2015 is riven by a real big gap between the #1 film and all the rest. Real, real big. You know the one. We can close our eyes and choose to ignore what's coming. But we cannot escape.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18th)
Long-awaited. Ambitious. Brilliant. Revolutionary. A motion picture that almost every man, woman, and child in the nation really wants to see. The number one choice for families during the holiday season. Possibly the biggest movie of the year, and maybe even the decade. A staggeringly anticipated continuation of a beloved franchise. The kind of sequel many have eagerly waited for decades. A follow-up that - finally, at last - gets it right.
But enough about the new Chipmunks sequel.
As much as I'd like to discuss that film right at the top, what we have to talk about here is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And what do we talk about when we talk about Star Wars? Flashing back 10 years, I remember the moment so clearly, even now. When the second Star Wars trilogy finally ended in 2005, the human race had believed that the worst was over. We dug our heads out of the ground, we opened our eyes anew, and we thought it was safe to go back to the theaters, to turn on our televisions again, to laugh and smile and walk outside in the bright afternoon sun. The second trilogy had made a lot of money, to be sure, but as a species, we had the prevailing, if overly optimistic, sense that Revenge of the Sith would really be the last one, at least for a generation. Still, I think we could hear the canaries in the coal mine, just faintly tune in to those voices in the back of our heads that told us: No. The nightmare is not over. The worst has not happened, not yet. There will be more Star Wars films, oh, many, many more. You might not have to wait long at all. And they are the reason you still fear the dark (of the movie theater).
Boy, do we ever have much to fear. These things will be coming at us at a rate of at least one a year now, for a long, long, long-long, time. You thought Marvel was ubiquitous? Forget it. With Star Wars, what possible reason would they ever have to stop?
Star Wars 7 will quite possibly be big enough to win the year and become the second biggest domestic film of all-time (Jurassic World is quietly gaining on Titanic as we speak, $652 million to $658 million, but both might end up whimpering underneath the talons of the beast). The Force Awakens will thoroughly dominate the holiday season much in the same manner that Avatar did six years ago, and it should easily be the biggest December title in six years. And it's intensely ironic that the key to all this excitement is the film's simultaneous absence of creator George Lucas on the one hand, and the reunion of most of the original stars (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, not to mention the robots and wookie) on the other. Welcome back, Star Wars. Have you been missed? Well, I gotta tell you...
Opening weekend: $200 million / Total gross: $645 million