It’s true … from a certain point of view. During the calendar year of 2016, Rogue One made more at the box office than The Force Awakens. TFA would actually be the 11th highest grossing movie of 2016 domestically, if they only counted its 2016 receipts and threw the movie into the mix with the 2016 releases.
R1, meanwhile, is over $800 million worldwide, and it hasn’t even opened in China yet! Well, scratch that, it actually opens in China today. Between that, and the rest of the sales, it should clear a billion overall (and then, possibly, beat Captain America: Civil War for top movie worldwide).
But even if it does, that means it will have still made a billion less than The Force Awakens. Can you call R1 a “success” by that measure?
That’s what I’m largely talking about on the podcast, as well as the magic ingredients for what drives a blockbuster to amazing box office heights. Chris Taylor at Mashable (and author of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe) has a insightful read on one of those factors.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in sources of stuff referenced in the podcast…