When it comes to ticket sales for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Disney’s taking an unprecedented share of the profits from theaters this time around.
Imagine our surprise. The juggernaut family movie studio has never been shy about putting its bottom line first. They’re famously tight-fisted with their content – one need only try and find any Disney movie on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon to see that. The development of their own streaming service was news that shocked exactly no one, considering their commitment to controlling the distribution of their content in such a way that it maximizes their profits.
Well, they’re taking that behavior to a whole new level when it comes to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – maybe one of the biggest movies Disney will release this century – and what percentage the Mouse will take from theater ticket sales.
Disney will receive 65% of ticket sales, which is pretty unprecedented even for a large release. To give you an idea, a studio’s percentage is typically 40-55%, maybe ballooning up to 60% for the biggest releases. Disney seems confident The Last Jedi warrants this kind of treatment, and, honestly, theater chains don’t have much choice but to go along with this and other obligations set by the studio if they want to screen the film.
In addition to a smaller portion of the profits, according to anonymous theater owners speaking to the WSJ, theaters are contractually obligated to show the film in their largest auditoriums for a minimum of four weeks, and all marketing remains embargoed until Disney gives the go ahead. If any of these regulations are violated, Disney reserves the right to charge an extra 5% on top of the 65% they’re already charging.
To be fair to Disney, 65% is only 1% more than they took for The Force Awakens two years ago, but it’s hard not to look at the studio’s actions as reflective of the fact that with the acquisitions of the MCU and the Star Wars franchise, it’s the most powerful studio in Hollywood by far.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres December 15th nationwide.
Source: The Wall Street Journal