When Disney released The Force Awakens in December 2015 it became the highest grossing movie to open in December, as well as the third highest grossing of all time. Following the success of The Force Awakens, Disney and Lucasfilm slated Rogue One (2016) and The Last Jedi (2017) for December releases. With the release of Rogue One it became apparent that December belonged to Star Wars. If you take a look at May 2012 and you can see the unexpected juggernaut that was the first Avengers movie, which made $207 million in the US and went on too gross $1.518 Billion at the global box office. It is ranked number 5 on the highest grossing movies of all time with Avengers Age of Ultron ranked Number 7. The Avengers do pretty well with their early summer movie release dates (winter for Australians) in May. That will all change next year.
In 2018 we are getting lucky with Avengers Infinity War on 4th of May (Star Wars Day) and then three weeks later we get the Han Solo movie on the 25th. Then 12 months later the same thing will happen when Avengers 4 goes up against Episode IX. Two massive Disney properties will be released in the same month that will definitely have a cross over audience. Now that doesn’t mean all Comic Book fans are Star Wars fans or vice versa but it does raise questions like will the release of Han Solo affect the box office of the third Avengers movie? We have seen this year that box office drop off happens rapidly but good films still find a way to hang in a keep on earning. Others like Fate of the Furious and Beauty and the Beast make it to $1 Billion within the first three weeks anyway.
It is interesting that Disney has opted to move Star Wars back to May where originally all the movies from the Original and Prequel trilogies had been released. It is also Star Wars month with May 4th (May the Fourth be with you) so that would make sense that you want to show Star Wars movies then. They have had incredible success with the December releases so why change? Why go up against another Billion-dollar franchise that you also own? Will it affect the longevity of The Avengers? Who will win the box office? Whatever Disney’s reasons for the move were it is clear that it is us the fans who win as we get two massive block busters from two incredible franchises less than a month apart.
I think it might be hard to gauge who will win this Battle of the Box Office given they are both top 10 franchises when it comes to box office money. I think Avengers will do better in 2018 given the scale of Infinity War and that Han Solo is a spin-off movie, though both will make the billion for sure. Marvel are doing something never been done with Avengers Infinity War from a cost, cast and scale perspective, but Han Solo has great cast and crew behind it so it will be a good fight. 2019 is harder to predict given it will be the follow up the Infinity War (but not part 2) and Episode IX will be the end of this new trilogy and also will have to address the passing of Carrie Fisher. I think ill come back to my previous point of it doesn’t matter who wins the box office as it is us the fans who are the real winners.
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