These Are The Extreme Rules For Showing Star Wars: The Last Jedi In Movie Theaters
If one of Disney's rules are broken, it will cost theaters some of their revenue.
Star Wars may take place in a galaxy far, far away, but it earns a lot of money here on Earth, and Disney, the studio behind the franchise, knows it. That's why the company is establishing a set of very strict rules when it comes to theaters playing Star Wars: The Last Jedi when it debuts in December.
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Disney expects a lot from any theater planning to exhibit the film. First and foremost, 65% of ticket sale revenue will go to Disney. That's up from 64% for the last two Star Wars movies. With most new releases, that number is typically closer to 55-60%. Theaters are also not allowed to begin marketing the movie before Disney gives approval
Additionally, exhibitors will be required to screen The Last Jedi in their biggest auditoriums for a minimum or four weeks. That's a rule Disney has implemented for their previous Star Wars releases. However, there's a catch. Any theater that breaks one of the rules is eligible to be charged an additional 5% of ticket sales--bringing Disney's haul to 70% of the revenue.
These rules will only go into effect if the film grosses $500 million in the United States and Canada, which is practically guaranteed--The Force Awakens earned $936 million domestically, while Rogue One took in $523 million in the United States and Canada. Should the rules go into effect though, it poses a tricky situation for theaters as other films release in the holiday season.
Among the movies releasing in the weeks after The Last Jedi are Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Greatest Showman, and Pitch Perfect 3. Under Disney's rules, none of them would be allowed to play on a theater's largest auditorium. That could become problematic for theaters in smaller towns, some of which only have one screen.
That said, the chances that any of those films is going to outgross the next chapter in the Star Wars saga is slim, at best. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters on December 15.