Image from: Emerson College ECommunication Thoughts
Tomorrow is one of the most important days in my young life. Star Wars turns 35. Let that sink in for a minute. It’s been 35 incredible years since those genius yellow words of sci-fi storytelling scrolled across screens around the country and inspired the world.
The franchise that has had one of the most significant impacts on American pop culture has held its staying power for 35 years for a reason. Star Wars is a marketing machine. Most recently, the films are being converted to 3-D to delight new generations of diehard fans. Although it’s not the first time a massively popular film has been re-released in 3-D, it’s the first time that 6 massively popular films have.
As a fan of all 6 movies (yes, even Phantom Menace), I wondered if re-releasing the movies in 3-D generated any buzz, knowing that many Star Wars fans have become disillusioned with the many significant changes introduced by George Lucas over the years. Apparently, most of the franchise’s younger fans (myself included) are still interested as nearly 40% of visitors to StarWars.com in April 2012 were below the age 35, far too young to have seen and understood any of the original trilogy in theaters.
Despite being panned by fans and critics alike, the 3-D release of Phantom Menace managed to gross nearly $103M at the box office after its February release, a trend that’s mirrored in daily reach and attention as seen above. And as you can see by the chart below, StarWars.com garnered more than 1.2M unique visitors in February.
How do you feel about a beloved series of films like Star Wars being released in yet another iteration? Is the success of Phantom Menace in 3-D due solely to good marketing practices? Will you be celebrating the 35th anniversary tomorrow? I know I will be. May the force be with all of you this weekend.