Is Star Wars: The Force Awakens on a path to billions of dollars? You better believe it. But, Disney wants to unveil its acquired franchise in a way that doesn’t have us fatigued by the time the movie hits.
Disney? It’s Star Wars. You’re good. We all know we are about to be hit over the head by everything Star Wars. And, I can’t wait.
Stepping back, you understand where Disney CEO Bob Iger is coming from. It’s been a decade since the last Star Wars film. Before the age of social media. How do you navigate the franchise’s marketing push in an era in which everyone has a loud opinion?
It’s not just the movie. Star Wars is known for its intense merchandising push. Toys, books, collectibles and video games. They are all part of the plan. Add in JJ Abrams intense secrecy surrounding his films, and you understand why Iger calls Disney’s plan ‘extremely deliberate.’
Read Iger’s comments on how the company is approaching Star Wars:
“Generally speaking, you’re going to see us release, in a very careful way, certain elements of the film as part of a carefully designed marketing plan as we get much closer to the film. This is already a very strong franchise, but a film has not been released in 10 years. We’re not treating this as something that is brand new. We’re mindful of the fact that there’s a whole generation of people out there that were not as steeped in the Star Wars lore and not as in love with the franchise as an older generation…
We are managing all this with great care. We are mindful of the fact that we need to market this and go after this new generation and new territories. We also want to be careful that the demand does not create almost too much in the marketplace too soon. And so, everything we have done to date has been extremely deliberate, and we have a carefully constructed and deliberate plan going forward in terms of what we roll out in the marketplace in terms of product and marketing.”
That’s why there have only been two teaser trailers. When will we get a full theatrical trailer? We are still seven months out, so possibly in August. Toys will release on September 4 for what Disney is billing as Force Friday.
Then there’s Battlefront. This could be the potential pitfall. EA’s take on the series is aiming to be the top video game on Xbox One, PS4 and PCs. It’s replacing Battlefield as EA’s fall shooter, and is billed as the company’s fall triple-A title.
All signs are pointing to it being hit. But, Battlefield 4’s launch was filled with issues. Clogged servers being one of them. For a video-game tie-in launching a month before the movie, it’s a risk.
A risk worth taking. The upside of a stellar game outweighs any potential issues of a launch-day misfire.
Besides, Disney knows how to market franchises. Look at Marvel. No issues there with marketing and box office success. You think the MCU was popular? You haven’t seen anything yet. The Avengers is a spectacle. Star Wars is a part of our culture.
In case you live under a rock, the film releases in December. Here’s the second teaser trailer. You know you want to see it again.