Star Wars The Last Jedi poster daisy ridley mark hamill (image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Dear Disney: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Already Gonna Make You a Crapton. Don’t Be Greedy.

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Corporations gonna be corporations, I guess. We all know that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is going to make a crapton of money when it comes out next month (!). It seems, however, that “a crapton” isn’t enough for Disney, who seems to be putting the squeeze on movie theaters that want to show the film by charging them an exorbitant amount of money for the privilege. Well, some theaters aren’t having it.

In an unprecedented move, even for Disney and Star Wars, Disney is demanding 65% of the ticket sales from The Last Jedi from theaters that want to screen it. In addition, as reported by /Film, “They’re also forcing theaters to screen the film in their largest auditorium for at least four weeks. For previous Star Wars movies, the studio has required 64% of the revenue from ticket sales and four week commitments, but typical Disney movies only require a two week commitment.”

That might not seem like too much to ask for Star Wars, considering its popularity, but a big part of distribution is building and nurturing a relationship with movie theaters so that they want to continue showing your movies. This is a huge “fuck you” to movie theaters nationwide, Love Disney. They’re basically saying, we don’t need to maintain a good relationship with you anymore. We have Star Wars.

Even worse, if any theaters screening The Last Jedi make even the tiniest misstep re: the agreementpulling just one screening from the schedule, or advertising the movie before Disney gives their approvalDisney will charge a 5% penalty, raising their take to a staggering 70% of ticket sales.

Studios, of course, generally get more of the take than theaters do. However, studios usually get between 55-60% of domestic revenue, and around 40% for international releases. Star Wars has made Disney cocky. It’s also made them a bit jerkier than they’ve been in the past.

Many theaters aren’t having that. Why wouldn’t they, you ask? Well, despite Star Wars being a hugely successful franchise, the fact is it’s being released during the December holidays, which is prime movie release season, and not every damn theater is a multiplex. For a lot of smaller theaters, with only one or two screens, being forced to keep any movie in their theater for four weeks would actually cut into their profits during their busiest time of year.

(image: Disney/Lucasfilm)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.