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Tracking The Rise (Or Fall?) of Skywalker

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Shadow1980 said:

And some people reject perfectly valid scientific theories because they think they're "ridiculous." But not liking the truth doesn't make it stop being the truth. The calendar matters. For every movie. Whether you like it or not. Period. The only reason anybody anyone is arguing otherwise is because some director or producer pissed in their cereal.

Why would they release it during a time that would negatively affect the movie? What benefit is there to doing that?



When the herd loses its way, the shepard must kill the bull that leads them astray.

zorg1000 said:
Shadow1980 said:

And some people reject perfectly valid scientific theories because they think they're "ridiculous." But not liking the truth doesn't make it stop being the truth. The calendar matters. For every movie. Whether you like it or not. Period. The only reason anybody anyone is arguing otherwise is because some director or producer pissed in their cereal.

Why would they release it during a time that would negatively affect the movie? What benefit is there to doing that?

I'm saying that TROS was negatively affected by the calendar, worse than the other new Star Wars films, by merit of having the latest release in December of any of them. It should have released a week earlier.

Every movie released in December takes a big hit after New Year's, no exceptions, and TROS released five days closer to New Year's than TLJ did. That makes a big difference. The days immediately after Jan. 1 (or Jan. 2 if NYD falls on a Sunday, for some odd reason) have seen every December release experience major drops in revenues, more than what the average summer blockbuster experiences, as people return to work and school after the holidays. Only extremely front-loaded summer films like Endgame have experienced relative drops that as large as a typical post-New Year's drop at the same point after release. With very rare exceptions (e.g., Avatar, and even it dropped big its third week because of the post-New Year's drop), December releases simply can't maintain the same kind of momentum after New Year's that summer releases can past their second or third week. Even The Force Awakens had larger percent drops in its third and fourth weeks than what we've seen with the biggest summer blockbusters of the past decade, and it wasn't because of audience reaction. It was because of January and its effects on holdovers from December.

Again, had TROS released a week earlier, it would have fared much better against TLJ than it has. It probably wouldn't have beaten it, but the gap almost certainly would have been a lot narrower, maybe no more than 10% lifetime (and, assuming ticket prices didn't jump up in Q4 2019, the adjusted gap would be even narrower; we should get something about Q4 ticket prices within the next week). It might have had a somewhat worse first week than it did in actuality, but it would have had a better second week, and a considerably better third week since its third week wouldn't end until Jan. 2 instead of taking place entirely after New Year's. January would have been closer between the two, though; TROS has had a considerably better January than TLJ (it's already grossed more this month than TLJ did in Jan. 2018 as a whole, and the month isn't even over year), and even over the past week when week-over-week drops are squarely against January dates TROS has, unless BOM is way overestimating it for this long weekend, managed softer week-over-week drops (and a way better MLK Day boost) every single day. While releasing a week earlier than it did would have likely resulted in a worse January, it could very well have still managed better post-New Year's legs proportionally, and maybe even absolutely, than TLJ.

In summary, there are some basic facts about the box office, including the following that are relevant to all Disney-era Star Wars films:

• Christmas Day is a good day for the box office, but Christmas Eve is a bad day.

• The box office experiences a significant slowdown after New Year's, which affects all holdovers from December.

• The timing of these events affects week-over-week comparisons for individual days, for weekends, and for whole weeks.

Anybody who does not recognize those facts does not deserve to be taken seriously in any kind of discussion on box office returns, whether it's for Star Wars or any other movie. I certainly hope most reasonable people can look at the data and realize that the calendar really does matter, and that the box office fortunes of movies, even ones from popular series, are affected by more than just public opinion. Unfortunately, some people want to be unreasonable (hence all the claims ranging from run-of-the-mill bad faith bullshit to incredibly outlandish nonsense), and I think a lot of that stems from vendettas against some perceived slight against them and the object of their fandom committed by certain elements in Hollywood. If this were any other movie, we wouldn't have the Nelsons of the internet pointing and going "Ha ha!" at it for dropping big after New Year's, but this is Star Wars we're talking about, and some of its so-called fans are perpetually disgruntled, can't let go of their hate, and can't resist any opportunity to accentuate or exaggerate the negative when it comes to any aspect of the franchise they don't like.



Shadow1980 said:
zorg1000 said:

Why would they release it during a time that would negatively affect the movie? What benefit is there to doing that?

I'm saying that TROS was negatively affected by the calendar, worse than the other new Star Wars films, by merit of having the latest release in December of any of them. It should have released a week earlier.

Every movie released in December takes a big hit after New Year's, no exceptions, and TROS released five days closer to New Year's than TLJ did. That makes a big difference. The days immediately after Jan. 1 (or Jan. 2 if NYD falls on a Sunday, for some odd reason) have seen every December release experience major drops in revenues, more than what the average summer blockbuster experiences, as people return to work and school after the holidays. Only extremely front-loaded summer films like Endgame have experienced relative drops that as large as a typical post-New Year's drop at the same point after release. With very rare exceptions (e.g., Avatar, and even it dropped big its third week because of the post-New Year's drop), December releases simply can't maintain the same kind of momentum after New Year's that summer releases can past their second or third week. Even The Force Awakens had larger percent drops in its third and fourth weeks than what we've seen with the biggest summer blockbusters of the past decade, and it wasn't because of audience reaction. It was because of January and its effects on holdovers from December.

Again, had TROS released a week earlier, it would have fared much better against TLJ than it has. It probably wouldn't have beaten it, but the gap almost certainly would have been a lot narrower, maybe no more than 10% lifetime (and, assuming ticket prices didn't jump up in Q4 2019, the adjusted gap would be even narrower; we should get something about Q4 ticket prices within the next week). It might have had a somewhat worse first week than it did in actuality, but it would have had a better second week, and a considerably better third week since its third week wouldn't end until Jan. 2 instead of taking place entirely after New Year's. January would have been closer between the two, though; TROS has had a considerably better January than TLJ (it's already grossed more this month than TLJ did in Jan. 2018 as a whole, and the month isn't even over year), and even over the past week when week-over-week drops are squarely against January dates TROS has, unless BOM is way overestimating it for this long weekend, managed softer week-over-week drops (and a way better MLK Day boost) every single day. While releasing a week earlier than it did would have likely resulted in a worse January, it could very well have still managed better post-New Year's legs proportionally, and maybe even absolutely, than TLJ.

In summary, there are some basic facts about the box office, including the following that are relevant to all Disney-era Star Wars films:

• Christmas Day is a good day for the box office, but Christmas Eve is a bad day.

• The box office experiences a significant slowdown after New Year's, which affects all holdovers from December.

• The timing of these events affects week-over-week comparisons for individual days, for weekends, and for whole weeks.

Anybody who does not recognize those facts does not deserve to be taken seriously in any kind of discussion on box office returns, whether it's for Star Wars or any other movie. I certainly hope most reasonable people can look at the data and realize that the calendar really does matter, and that the box office fortunes of movies, even ones from popular series, are affected by more than just public opinion. Unfortunately, some people want to be unreasonable (hence all the claims ranging from run-of-the-mill bad faith bullshit to incredibly outlandish nonsense), and I think a lot of that stems from vendettas against some perceived slight against them and the object of their fandom committed by certain elements in Hollywood. If this were any other movie, we wouldn't have the Nelsons of the internet pointing and going "Ha ha!" at it for dropping big after New Year's, but this is Star Wars we're talking about, and some of its so-called fans are perpetually disgruntled, can't let go of their hate, and can't resist any opportunity to accentuate or exaggerate the negative when it comes to any aspect of the franchise they don't like.

Thats a huge rant that doesnt answer my question. If it's such a well known fact that the calendar can affect a movies performance than why would they release it that day?



When the herd loses its way, the shepard must kill the bull that leads them astray.

I guess I didn't watch it because it released a week later. Hmm... and here I thought it was because TLJ totally killed my interest in this trilogy.. Go figure.



zorg1000 said:
Shadow1980 said:

I'm saying that TROS was negatively affected by the calendar, worse than the other new Star Wars films, by merit of having the latest release in December of any of them. It should have released a week earlier.

Every movie released in December takes a big hit after New Year's, no exceptions, and TROS released five days closer to New Year's than TLJ did. That makes a big difference. The days immediately after Jan. 1 (or Jan. 2 if NYD falls on a Sunday, for some odd reason) have seen every December release experience major drops in revenues, more than what the average summer blockbuster experiences, as people return to work and school after the holidays. Only extremely front-loaded summer films like Endgame have experienced relative drops that as large as a typical post-New Year's drop at the same point after release. With very rare exceptions (e.g., Avatar, and even it dropped big its third week because of the post-New Year's drop), December releases simply can't maintain the same kind of momentum after New Year's that summer releases can past their second or third week. Even The Force Awakens had larger percent drops in its third and fourth weeks than what we've seen with the biggest summer blockbusters of the past decade, and it wasn't because of audience reaction. It was because of January and its effects on holdovers from December.

Again, had TROS released a week earlier, it would have fared much better against TLJ than it has. It probably wouldn't have beaten it, but the gap almost certainly would have been a lot narrower, maybe no more than 10% lifetime (and, assuming ticket prices didn't jump up in Q4 2019, the adjusted gap would be even narrower; we should get something about Q4 ticket prices within the next week). It might have had a somewhat worse first week than it did in actuality, but it would have had a better second week, and a considerably better third week since its third week wouldn't end until Jan. 2 instead of taking place entirely after New Year's. January would have been closer between the two, though; TROS has had a considerably better January than TLJ (it's already grossed more this month than TLJ did in Jan. 2018 as a whole, and the month isn't even over year), and even over the past week when week-over-week drops are squarely against January dates TROS has, unless BOM is way overestimating it for this long weekend, managed softer week-over-week drops (and a way better MLK Day boost) every single day. While releasing a week earlier than it did would have likely resulted in a worse January, it could very well have still managed better post-New Year's legs proportionally, and maybe even absolutely, than TLJ.

In summary, there are some basic facts about the box office, including the following that are relevant to all Disney-era Star Wars films:

• Christmas Day is a good day for the box office, but Christmas Eve is a bad day.

• The box office experiences a significant slowdown after New Year's, which affects all holdovers from December.

• The timing of these events affects week-over-week comparisons for individual days, for weekends, and for whole weeks.

Anybody who does not recognize those facts does not deserve to be taken seriously in any kind of discussion on box office returns, whether it's for Star Wars or any other movie. I certainly hope most reasonable people can look at the data and realize that the calendar really does matter, and that the box office fortunes of movies, even ones from popular series, are affected by more than just public opinion. Unfortunately, some people want to be unreasonable (hence all the claims ranging from run-of-the-mill bad faith bullshit to incredibly outlandish nonsense), and I think a lot of that stems from vendettas against some perceived slight against them and the object of their fandom committed by certain elements in Hollywood. If this were any other movie, we wouldn't have the Nelsons of the internet pointing and going "Ha ha!" at it for dropping big after New Year's, but this is Star Wars we're talking about, and some of its so-called fans are perpetually disgruntled, can't let go of their hate, and can't resist any opportunity to accentuate or exaggerate the negative when it comes to any aspect of the franchise they don't like.

Thats a huge rant that doesnt answer my question. If it's such a well known fact that the calendar can affect a movies performance than why would they release it that day?

I guess Disney said "You know what? we have earned enough money this year. Let's release this one week later so we can drop at least 100 million off of it."



 And I guess Shadow1980 did not know about these "basic facts about the box office" back on Dec 21st when he made this prediction:

"If I had to give a worst-case-to-best-case range for TROS, I would put it at $600-700M. That's less than my initial projections as I expected both a larger weekend and a ROTJ/ROTS-level second-to-third film increase. Still, that would be more than enough to put it in the Top 8 films of the decade domestically, and easily the #2 film of 2019. Globally, if its overseas gross can at least equal its domestic gross, then we're looking at $1.2-1.4B, though if it's 45% domestic/55% overseas like TFA and TLJ then the worldwide gross could go as high as $1.3-1.55B."

So I'm going to assume that he just learned about these "basic facts about the box office" yesterday.



zorg1000 said:

Thats a huge rant that doesnt answer my question. If it's such a well known fact that the calendar can affect a movies performance than why would they release it that day?

That's a good question. Why don't you ask them? Maybe studios care more about the first week or two than they do about the long tail, especially for December releases considering they've long considered January a "dump month" and probably aren't hedging their bets on a holiday movie continuing to pull massive numbers after December. It could very well be the case that Disney isn't too concerned about whether or not a movie released ahead of Christmas takes a 10% or so hit to its box office because it released a few days too close to Christmas (and therefore also New Year's). Despite all the screeching from "fans" about TLJ's post-New Year's legs, nobody as Disney ever made a stink about it (at least not publicly; in fact, nobody has yet to provide a source showing Disney execs were "disappointed" by the film's performance at all).

But the simple fact is that the box office takes a huge hit after New Year's. Don't believe me? Here you go:

https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl3305145857/?ref_=bo_ml_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl3108800001/?ref_=bo_ml_table_2
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl879986177/?ref_=bo_md_table_2
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2708702721/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl3095234049/?ref_=bo_md_table_2
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2557707777/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2103150081/?ref_=bo_md_table_2
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2691925505/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2354677249/?ref_=bo_ml_table_6
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2337900033/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl2321122817/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl3614344705/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl1365411329/?ref_=bo_md_table_2
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl4000810497/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl876971521/?ref_=bo_md_table_1
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl1816364545/?ref_=bo_md_table_2
https://www.boxofficemojo.com/release/rl3597567489/?ref_=bo_md_table_3

That should be more than sufficient of a sample size of December releases. Look at how every one of them has a big drop after New Year's. As I pointed out in a previous post, even a film like Avatar, which had anomalously strong legs for a 21st century film, had the largest week-over-week drop of its first two months in Week 3, the first full week after New Year's.

Is all of that data that not proof enough for you? It's all right there, black-and-white, clear as crystal. If you want, I can go through the trouble of graphing them and some big summer releases to show how the typical drops compare.

The. Calendar. Matters.



chakkra said:

 And I guess Shadow1980 did not know about these "basic facts about the box office" back on Dec 21st when he made this prediction:

"If I had to give a worst-case-to-best-case range for TROS, I would put it at $600-700M. That's less than my initial projections as I expected both a larger weekend and a ROTJ/ROTS-level second-to-third film increase. Still, that would be more than enough to put it in the Top 8 films of the decade domestically, and easily the #2 film of 2019. Globally, if its overseas gross can at least equal its domestic gross, then we're looking at $1.2-1.4B, though if it's 45% domestic/55% overseas like TFA and TLJ then the worldwide gross could go as high as $1.3-1.55B."

So I'm going to assume that he just learned about these "basic facts about the box office" yesterday.

Don't be a fucking smartass. I already admitted in a previous post that I was overly optimistic because, guess what, I forgot to take the calendar into account. I made a mistake. I'm a human being, after all, and I'm capable of error. And at least I'm capable of admitting when I'm wrong, which is more than can be said about certain people on this forum. Some people refuse to accept that they were wrong about why The Last Jedi had a large drop its second weekend compared to certain other films, including its immediate predecessors. Somebody refused to admit that they had no evidence backing up their idea that The Empire Strikes back dropped big against A New Hope in large part because of VCRs. Even when the data is staring them right in the fucking face, they refuse to back down, capitulate, or admit to any sort of error on their part.

And it doesn't matter when you learn a fact, so long as you acknowledge it is a fact. For example, when I was new to VGC, I had only a perfunctory knowledge of sales data, but after months and months of perusing data, collecting it, learning it, discerning trends, etc., I came to better understand various facts about game sales. But some people spend their whole lives being aware of a fact and refusing to admit it. There are millions of people that refuse to accept basic facts about physical reality (including a certain regular in these very discussions), so if people are going to deny reality when it comes to science it's no surprise that some people would find it even easier to deny the facts when it comes to more trivial things like box office revenues, especially when it comes to major objects of fandom.



The calendar argument gets thrown right out the window when a Jumanji movie is having better legs in January than a main entry in the SW franchise. Twice. It also makes Disney look like complete dumbasses for releasing a movie when they did. In other words, it has very little to do with SW's performance.



And then there's the "Legs only matter when I say they do" arguments.

Jumanji 4 had a Week 4 drop of 51.9%, worse than the vast majority of major summer blockbusters released outside of December. Looking through the top 50 films of the 2010s (adjusted), the only non-December releases that had a worse drop in Week 4 were Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and Batman vs. Superman. And, unless I overlooked something, every single MCU film, even the most front-loaded ones, had smaller drops in Week 4 than Jumanji 4. Also, while Jumanji 4 only had very modest drops in Week 2 & 3, it had that sudden and sharp drop in Week 4, which also happened to be its first full post-New Year's week. It's almost like movies are negatively impacted a significant amount after New Year's or something.

Also, a mid-grossing comedy with an unremarkable opening week (only $75.8M) is hardly an apples-to-apples comparison with any huge blockbuster with a huge opening week. But if you want to make that comparison, well, TFA had a larger Week 4 drop than Jumanji 4, and that was its second post-New Year's week. Hell, TFA had a larger Week 3 drop than TLJ or Rogue One (again, because New Year's). But nobody ever wants to hold either of those facts against it as a negative, and they wouldn't have even thought to compare TFA with Jumanji. Why? Because TFA didn't elicit the same sort of negative reactions that TLJ did in certain segments of the fan base. But some people really, really hate TLJ so they felt necessary to compare it some some other movie that's not even close to the same genre just to have something to compare it to in order to make things look worse than it is. And now they have to do the same with TROS, if not because they hate it then at least because they feel any actual or perceived negatives in its performance vindicates their dislike of TLJ.

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 21 January 2020