Which came first, the chicken or the egg. And which came first, the wokeness or the broke-ness?
I’ve argued that overpriced but worthless major brands embrace wokeness because of their underlying lack of value. This is routinely true in Hollywood where IP franchises go woke because they have no actual content to offer. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But the underlying brokeness is always underneath. That’s true of most woke megabrands which are only a shift in popularity away from wipeout.
That’s bad news for Disney, which has built a massive IP empire that looks impressive with billion dollar movies that dominate the box office, but underneath is deeply broke.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” topped the box office over the weekend despite having a weaker opening than the saga’s two previous films.
Disney’s newest “Star Wars” sequel raked in $373.5 million at theaters worldwide, including $175.5 million in domestic ticket sales, according to Comscore data released Sunday.
That domestic total is about 29 percent lower than 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” which earned nearly $248 million in its opening weekend, and roughly 20 percent below the $220 million debut for “The Last Jedi” in 2017.
This is par for the course with Star Wars revivals. Disney had hoped to turn Star Wars into the next Marvel, but with Marvel comics, the mouse had inherited a ton of plot and narrative it could use. Not the case with Star Wars. And Baby Yoda memes can’t disguise franchise decline.
With Solo, Disney realized that standalone movies might not be a viable option for Star Wars. And the latest revival effort has stumbled into another dead end of declining revenues. And considering the cost of making these monsters, marketing budgets and Hollywood accounting, movies that don’t hit a billion can actually lose money. And Disney needs money badly for its expansion efforts to succeed.
Wokeness was an easy strategy. But it ultimately leads to the exposure of the brokeness underneath.
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