To the surprise of, well, not many people, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been doing spectacularly well at the box office. As of early January, it has brought in $1.536 billion globally. That’s not only an absurd amount of money, but it has already surpassed Furious 7 and The Avengers, and is just behind Jurassic World, and a little further behind Titanic and Avatar. Although ticket sales have slightly dropped, the movie is still on track to be the biggest box office smash ever.
Star Wars is big business generally, being an extremely popular franchise across the globe, with instantly recognizable characters, ships, dialog, and music. It’s not as if the franchise has ever really suffered financially; it’s been a hit since day one, with tons of books, toys, and other products since probably day three. But the prequel films did hurt the franchise with a lot of fans. Many people, only most people, who were already Star Wars fans didn’t enjoy those movies, despite seeing them and buying toys and such before they realized that.
So the series needed some kind of boost to get where it is now, and that came with Disney buying Lucasfilm for $4 billion a few years ago, and hiring J.J. Abrams to write and direct. A lot of fans were concerned when Disney bought the rights and when they discarded a lot of the extended universe developed over thirty years of books, comics, and video games. However, when news started dropping about the new film, the hype and fascination had people lining up to see the film a second time.