During CinemaCon, Disney confirmed that they’re not too worried about “Star Wars” overload among the faithful with a planned new feature release every summer following “Episode VII” in 2015. The J.J. Abrams-directed film will launch an alternating year strategy of sequels followed by standalone movies.
So what about fan fatigue? Besides the “Saw” films, can you think of any franchise that has aggressively gone after an annual release? Those movies had the benefit of costing relatively little for studio Lionsgate, offering a huge return every Halloween and subsequently on home video. But it will take a while to launch a new “Star Wars” film, given the logistics of organizing an exponentially larger production–every year, making each summer a “Star Wars” event.
So “Star Wars” will never really go away again, which feels kind of sad, in a way. As disappointing as “Episode I” was, it got a lot of fan love in those early days of its release because of the gap between the original trilogy and the prequels (absence and fondness and all that). Can you imagine the annual onslaught of new “Star Wars” movies, from the marketing to the comics, to the toys, and everything else? I worry that annual releases will blunt the impact of each subsequent movie. There’s no time to digest each movie, to take it in and allow it to grow in the public consciousness.
Anyway, 2015 will be a busy year for Disney, who’s also releasing the next “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequel, a sequel to “Finding Nemo,” “Avengers 2,” and another film from Pixar, “Inside Out.”