As the movie starts breaking world records, fans of the franchise are loving it… but some viewers call out the lack of originality.
By the Numbers:
With $517 million in its first weekend, Star Wars: The Force Awakens in on its way to break all records worldwide – it already broke the domestic U.S. and Canada records set by Jurassic World: $208 million for the latter vs. $238 million from Star Wars; also breaking records on Australia, Germany, the U.K. and other countries.
It did, however, fail to break the worldwide opening weekend record, also set by Jurassic World: $517 million for Star Wars, falling just short of the $524 million credited to Jurassic World. If this sounds like a surprise, take into account Star Wars hasn’t premiered on the biggest Hollywood market: China won’t get it on theaters until Jan. 9, where that number might grow exponentially.
While it can no longer compete for speed against Jurassic world, Disney seems confident Star Wars: The Force Awakens will beat the lifetime worldwide and domestic gross records wielded by Avatar, by James Cameron, that sits at $760.5 million for the U.S. and Canada, and $2.7 billion worldwide.
By the Words:
With such big number of viewers backing it up, the internet is drowning in reviews… likely no one will use to decide to see the movie or not: that’s a decision made long, long ago. It is, however, useful to note that most reviews agree in these (spoiler-free) points:
- It pays good homage to the original films by re-enacting many acts of the first story, while breathing life into them thanks to the new characters.
- It’s full of J.J. Abrams’ characteristic humor– also reminiscent of the original trilogy…
- …and does it gratuitously, without compromising the serious tone of the plot, nor entering into the self-parody territory.
- It jumps too much on the back of the original trilogy – to keep it short, there are many complaints about the repetition of plotlines, characters, and more…
- …and as such, does little to spark new interest in the viewers. You will get what you expect – but won’t really get anything you wouldn’t.
- There isn’t a real reinvention of the franchise as some fans hoped, which won’t likely be a problem for this film, but as the trilogy goes on, might bring stagnation should Abrams keep this path.
All in all, the movie is doing an excellent work to make Star Wars fans extremely happy (I’ve personally met people who think it is the best Star Wars film yet, and 95% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes accounts for a lot), but does so at the cost of repetition and not bringing new things to the table to maybe attract people less familiar with, or fond of the saga.
There are still two more films to go, so Abrams might be saving his ace for later – after a safe first bet, it’s not outlandish to expect some form of deconstruction for the next film that will keep people hooked until the last one reconstructs the whole franchise… or we could expect more safe bets, which is a safer bet itself.