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Disney knows that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is going to make a lot of money, but the company is giving US theaters a strict set of rules that will maximize the movie’s earning potential while increasing the studio’s cut of the profits.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, theaters that show the next entry in the Star Wars series must hand over a 65 percent share of the ticket-sales revenue to Disney. Most studios request around 55 percent. This is a “new benchmark,” according to the WSJ, though it’s only 1 percent more than what Disney asked for the last two Star Wars titles.
The next demand is that theaters show The Last Jedi exclusively in their largest auditorium for a minimum of four weeks—another rule that was in place for the previous movies. While The Last Jedi will obviously be popular, this requirement could pose problems for small theaters that might have only one screen.
Disney's rules will only come into play if the Last Jedi grosses $500 million in the US and Canada, which is an almost certainty, especially when you consider that the highest-grossing film of 2015, The Force Awakens, brought in over $930 million domestically.
Should any theater dare to ignore Disney’s rules, the company reserves the right to charge it an additional five percent of the ticket-sales revenue. This will happen for any infraction, including the cancellation of a single screening without Disney’s consent.
In other Last Jedi news, a new TV spot appeared during Game 7 of the World Series last night. Highlights include Luke's return to the Millennium Falcon, Finn battling Captain Phasma, and, err..., some more Porgs.