As the Star Wars box office totals continue to climb, taking The Force Awakens beyond the $1.3 billion threshold as of Thursday (Dec. 31), industry analysts are excited about what that means for the year-in-film ahead.
Just when naysayers were giving up hope for movie theaters, along comes what will likely be the most successful motion picture of all time, at least if the current trajectory holds.
While it is easy to get lost in the euphoria of the moment, however, the success of TFA could be ushering in a rather disappointing 2016, at least performance-wise.
Some are foreseeing a Star Wars box office hangover in the sense that few films to come will have the hype train behind it that The Force Awakens did.
There is the possibility of a Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice bonanza, but after the latest trailer, some are finding they have already seen the entire film without actually going to the theater, as evidenced in this piece from the ComicBook website.
You can watch it here to see if you agree.
Other films expected in 2016 could pick up the slack — if there is any — with an all-female Ghostbusters, a new X-Men film, and an R-rated Deadpool.
Still, none of these have the marquee value of a Star Wars, at least not enough to hang with this year’s Star Wars box office totals.
Will they turn a profit? Likely. But considering that prices are going up and actual ticket sales are nowhere close to what they were in the ’80s and ’90s, that’s not really indicative of a positive trend.
Other films that could do big money in 2016 include Suicide Squad, Star Trek Beyond, Captain America: Civil War, and Independence Day: Resurgence.
In each of the cases noted above, the films are either part of or tied in some way to an existing franchise. Perhaps the biggest movie for next year is yet another film in the Star Wars Universe, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Taking place prior to Episode IV: A New Hope, it’s almost guaranteed the film will make bank, especially since the new hasn’t worn off Disney’s take on the franchise.
Still, as a standalone picture that follows more in the espionage genre than sci-fi, it’s unlikely that you will see Rogue One have the same impact as the current Star Wars box office totals.
As an aside, that may not even be what Disney needs the film to do. After all, how special are the trilogy films if the standalone features steal their thunder?
rogue one has the most diverse casting. i couldn’t be prouder of this upcoming film. pic.twitter.com/yms2JoVSzJ
— yen solo (@hansoloportman) December 31, 2015
You can see the most highly-anticipated films of 2016 at this link from IMDb, but as you plan which ones that you want to see, try to keep in mind that what you’re currently seeing out of Star Wars box office totals are likely an anomaly.
Whenever there has been a big Star Wars trilogy, the second films have always experienced a dip, and the third films have seen an increase, but not to the level of the initial film in the threesome.
For that reason alone, fans may be disappointed by the final box office tallies of some of the films mentioned above.
What 2016 may suffer from is the ghost of Star Wars‘ current box office success.
There is also the point that some may wish to avoid admitting. While The Force Awakens is certainly well-received, it didn’t really forge new territory in the way the 1977 original did.
It has been called, by some critics, a “creative depression,” while the original film was considered visionary. Now that audiences have seen what they can expect from the new Star Wars films, it’s going to be tougher and tougher for the Batman V Supermans and the X-Mens and the Deadpools to offer the promise of a full-blown “experience.”
In that case, why not wait for video?
Do you think the massive Star Wars box office success is a sign of a depressing 2016? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Star Wars: The Force Awakens screen grab]