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Why Won’t ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Beat ‘Avatar’? — ‘The Why’

Welcome to the newest edition of The Why.Why won’t Star Wars: The Force Awakens beat Avatar?” Good question. (OK, it’s a little odd but again it beats answering those questions about some of your more personal peccadilloes. We thought “The Jedi Mind Trick” had no meaning outside the Star Wars franchise, mmmkay?)

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Star Wars 7/Image: GeekTyrant

So why do some folks in the know claim Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t beat Avatar? Yours truly is more of a music than film critic these days but you know it’s a trick question based on the changes in the industry. No doubt the new Star Wars film will have heavier competition than Avatar.

Guest speaker Scott Mendelson, contributor to Forbes online, confirms this, he elaborate: “There will be fifteen new wide release movies in the month of January, including two Christmas Day expansions but not including whatever else makes a splash over the next couple months in order to enter the Oscar race. . .quite a few of those films will be relatively “major” releases, the kind that negate the concept of January being a dead zone or a dumping ground. So yeah, if Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t end up topping Titanic or Avatar at the domestic box office, it might have as much to do with the January slate as with any disturbance in the force.”

See? Unlike in the past, this coming January will be huge. Mendelson agrees that “this January, which is as big a January season as I remember. . . We have genuinely ‘big’ movies right off the bat.”

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Star Wars 7/Image: ComingSoon

The Force Awakens just plain will not have the “open playing field” that in comparison Avatar had. Of course, no one’s claiming Star Wars 7 won’t be a huge hit, and Mendelson adds that the “domestic calendar doesn’t necessarily affect its overseas prospects. But it also means that we shouldn’t freak out if the film ends up closer to The Dark Knight‘s $533m domestic total than Avatar‘s $749m domestic total.”

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Star Wars 7/Image: StarWars7News

Could Star Wars still take a shot at the title? Sure, Mendelson confirms this noting that it could have “a solid three weeks between December 18th and The Hateful Eight on January 8th to do its business, but then everything . . . in December will suffer because of the crowded January slate.” The real issue is that a flood of big movies “week-in and week out will affect the legs of every movie out there including Star Wars.

Why won’t Star Wars: The Force Awakens beat Avatar? Now you know.

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.