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If The Phantom Menace had flopped at the box office.

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Loopster, Apr 5, 2005.

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  1. Loopster

    Loopster Jedi Youngling star 4

    Sep 26, 2000
    We all know it made and absolute packet, but what would have happened if The Phantom Menace flopped - only made $200 million worldwide or so? Would the rest of the saga have been made? Would the story have changed or the films have been made differently due to budget constraints?

    Would there be less CGI or more? Would we get more character development or more action?
  2. IEatPoodoo

    IEatPoodoo Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 11, 2000
    $200 million worldwide is not considered a flop.
  3. Madcaplaughs

    Madcaplaughs Jedi Master

    May 7, 2004
    In the Beginning Doc on TPM DVD Lucas is talking with his producers about cost for TPM and tells John Knoll that not only will ILM need to find a way to do the VFX for TPM but they will also need to become adept enough at it to do 2 more films.
    I think regardless of what the film would have made Lucas would have carried on. AOTC and ROTS would probably not have changed very much. Same FX, CGI, story, all of it. I think anyone who has seen or read enough about Lucas can venture the opinion that he is extremely strong willed.

    I mean come on there are 10 Friday the 13th films, 8 Halloweens, a poop load of Star Treks, not all of which were successful.

    ... And 200mil is alot of money for a movie to make. Maybe low for a Star Wars movie, but as a regular movie it is a lot.
  4. starwarsagent

    starwarsagent Jedi Youngling star 5

    Jul 4, 2004
    it made more than 200 million worldwide. get the facts kid.


    Domestic Total Gross: $431,088,301
    Distributor: Fox Release Date: May 19, 1999
    Running Time: 2 hrs. 13 min. Production Budget: $115 million
    MPAA Rating: PG Est. Marketing Costs: $15 million


    Domestic: $431,088,301 46.6%
    + Overseas: $493,400,000 53.4%


    = Worldwide: $924,488,301

    Opening Weekend: $64,820,970
    (2,970 theaters, $21,825 average)
    % of Total Gross: 15.0%

    Widest Release: 3,126 theaters

    Close Date: February 3, 2000

    this movie had wasnt going to flop.


    SHAUN-FOREVER Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 26, 2004
    Ok, we get that it made a lot of money.

    He's asking what would happen if it did not make a lot of money.
  6. Chaotic_Serenity

    Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 10, 2004
    Yeah, but $200 million dollars isn't a small amount for a movie to make. Look at some of the box office revenue totals on your average movies - they don't come very close. Blockbusters are high budget films because they expect to rake in higher totals, and we see what happens when they flop - which TPM thankfully didn't.

    IMO, Lucas would have just kept making the films. He had alot of detractors from all ends of the PT, and that didn't stop him from doing what *he* wanted to do with his films.
  7. SLAVE2

    SLAVE2 Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 6, 2000
    $200 million would probably be enough to finance Episode 2, and if not Lucas would chip in aswell, so I think they would still have been made, although maybe toned down a little in terms of SFX.
  8. Loopster

    Loopster Jedi Youngling star 4

    Sep 26, 2000
    Ok, calm down. I'm not bashing the film. I'm asking what you think might have happened if it flopped at the box office. I know it didn't. Forget the $200 million figure, though personally I would consider a $200 million return for a Star Wars film a flop.

    I think it's pretty hard to see Lucas continuing the prequels if the first film was not a success.
  9. Chaotic_Serenity

    Chaotic_Serenity Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 10, 2004
    I didn't say you were bashing the film, but $200 million didn't strike me as a flop. I was just pointing out that a number like that wouldn't stop any director from continuing, as long as the revenue exceeded the production and advertisement costs. Even if that was low by SW standards, I think that would be enough. Anything in the high millions would have motivated Lucas to keep going, just maybe tone down the sheer amount of special effects and rethink some of the planning around it.

    Now if, say, the film only made $10 million? He might have to stop, simply because it would be so much a massive financial loss. After all, Lucas himself is funding these films. I've heard ROTS is taking a nice $115 million dollar chunk out of what he has so far, so we can assume he hopes to at least meet even with these movies. Otherwise, any director facing serious financial loss would (and should) be intelligent enough to see a bust around the corner and would cut the losses by trying something else.
  10. Mr. P

    Mr. P FanFic Archive Editor, Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 1, 2000
    If TPM had flopped, GL still would have made them. Remember that SW (the whole thing) is effectively GL's opus, his life's work. He wouldn't start the PT and then stop it because people didn't like it. (Remember the backlash against TPM?)

    Now, if ANH had flopped, then he probably wouldn't have made any of the other SW movies. That's why he started with ANH rather than TPM, because he knew that people would like ANH a lot better.

    Also, GL had more than enough money even after spending all the dough to make TPM, that if it made $0, he could afford to make the other movies.

    Mr. P
  11. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001
    I think some people need to read threads a little closer before they post...

  12. Pizza-the-Hutt

    Pizza-the-Hutt Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 21, 2002
    I think Lucas would have made the rest of the prequels regardless of how much money TPM made. I mean let's face it althought TPM made heaps it did get ripped to shreds by the media, in America at least, and Lucas still went ahead with the others.
  13. Shelley

    Shelley Jedi Youngling star 5

    Sep 9, 2001
    I didn't say you were bashing the film, but $200 million didn't strike me as a flop.

    Heh. Tell that to the people all over TF.N and the totally unbiased and completely fair media who smirked that AOTC flopped, at a $310 million domestic gross.
  14. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001
    Honestly, $200 million WORLDWIDE for a film that cost $110 million to make, plus however much $50 million or so to market... that WOULD be a flop. Especially for a SW film.

  15. Master_Starwalker

    Master_Starwalker Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 20, 2003
    I personally think that Lucas would have gone on to make the Prequels regardless of had TPM flopped because Lucas is a man who doesn't really care what others think of him.
  16. That_Wascally_Droid

    That_Wascally_Droid Jedi Knight star 6

    Jul 29, 2001
    I think he would've gone on and edited the FX as the buget required.
    The core story wouldn't need to be changed at all.
  17. royalguard96

    royalguard96 Jedi Knight star 5

    Aug 13, 2001
    I bet 99 percent of the movies coming out of Hollywood would kill to have a worldwide gross of $200 million.

    Only Star Wars fans could somehow translate that figure as being a "flop."
  18. jangoisadrunk

    jangoisadrunk Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 7, 2005

    Yeah, I had no idea it was possibly for ANY movie to make that much woldwide. The next major theatrical release (3-D, HD, Holographic--format doesn't matter) could push TPM over a BILLION DOLLARS worldwide!!!

    Sounds like GL could finance his own Palpatine Style takeover of the world if he wanted to.

  19. Lank_Pavail

    Lank_Pavail Jedi Knight star 7

    Sep 26, 2002
    Lucas is rich enough he can afford to make all three prequels with a minimum return. Even had it only done 200 million worldwide, he still would've made a profit on it, albeit a 'small' one of a few tens of millions of dollars. LFL could take that kind of hit and keep going. They make enough bank with the sfx work they do for other films, the EU materials, the merchandise, etc. Lucas could afford to be bull-headed and make his other two films and probably would. :)
  20. Loopster

    Loopster Jedi Youngling star 4

    Sep 26, 2000
    First, I don't believe Lucas had a pair of trilogies in mind when he made ANH. ANH was successful and hey presto, we've got sequels.

    Second, a $200 million dollar film isn't a flop for less expensive and less hyped films, but the budget for TPM plus marketting would very nearly reach that figure. In the end $200 million was probably the wrong thing to say. I should have said $50 million. It doesn't really matter in respect to the subject.

    I really don't think we'd have gotten AOTC or ROTS if TPM had not been received so well by the paying public. Forget critics and the media, no-one cares what they say, certainly George Lucas wouldn't. It's the $$$ that matters and it did extraordinarily well. Would Lucas have made Ep2 or Ep3 if he lost money on TPM? He's smarter than that, no way would he have made films that were losing money.
  21. Tyranus_the_Hutt

    Tyranus_the_Hutt Jedi Padawan star 4

    Nov 14, 2004
    Would Lucas have made Ep2 or Ep3 if he lost money on TPM? He's smarter than that, no way would he have made films that were losing money.

    It depends upon who you wish to believe, and in what context. Lucas has been fond of stating that the money that he makes from each of the "Star Wars" pictures goes into financing the following installment. He was asked more or less point blank in a 1999 "Premiere" interview about the plans for "Episode II", to which he responded: "If this one ["Menace"] does okay. [If it doesn't] there won't be a next one." If you take the man at his word based on those comments, then it is reasonable to imagine that had "The Phantom Menace" failed at the box-office, we would not have had the succeeding chapters in this particular saga (a matter which I'm sure would have pleased a great many people[face_plain]).

    With those comments in mind, it is important to realize that Lucas finances the films himself. He spent several years consolidating his financial resources specifically so that he would be able to make the "Star Wars" prequels without having to seek financial aid from the studio system he so despised. While many have questioned the man's (artistic) judgement, he certainly isn't stupid, and must have known, based on extensive market research, tracking, focus groups, the "OT: SE" theatrical re-release success, etc. that the franchise's fanbase was substantial and hungry enough to warrant investing a sizeable chunk of his own money in such a large commercial venture. Lucas sometimes likes to downplay his "expectations" for the (box-office return) of his films, but surely he must have known that the massive public desire to see another installment of the "Star Wars" series was voracious enough to suggest that in fact the film would become a hit (in technical terms, meaning that it would gross substantially more than it would cost to produce and promote the picture). Entirely apart from that is the fact that Lucas wisely subsidized some of his expenses by making deals with and selling merchandising rights to companies (it was rumored that Hasbro paid Lucas $100 million in advance in order to claim exclusive rights to manufacture Episode I figures and toys), a matter which helped to quantify the production costs. "The Phantom Menace" was, interestingly, initially going to be budgeted at around $40 million US, but then, of course, came the grandiose conceptual planes, the designs of which further extended themselves out into the vast (and costly) realm of special effects technology.;) Anyways, those issues aside, since it is his money used to finance the prequel films, Lucas reportedly reaps about 90% of their net profits; 20th Century Fox, on the other hand, gets a small percentage of the gross, plus a distributer's fee (somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 million, excluding any possible back-end or bonus incentives). In other words, the man in question is not exactly destitute, and can afford to what he likes.:p

    However, to further extrapolate the hypothetical idea that Loopster has introduced, if for some reason, "Menace" had grossed, say, $190 Million worldwide, were Lucas stubborn enough, he could have persevered and continued to make the pictures, devoid of any studio interference, either at the projected cost of approximately $115-120 million US, or at a reduced fraction of that amount, more in line with the amount suggested in the previous paragraph. The thing is, as wealthy as he is (net worth of around $3 billion), for the purposes of maintaining his independence, Lucas has chosen not to sell stock in his companies - if he were somehow willing to do so, consider how much additional money he would be able to accumulate. It wouldn't be pragmatic, but had "Episode I" been a flop, he could have persisted to make the other two film in the trilogy in a precise and very personal manner. However, to re-establish my initial feeling, I don't believe Lucas would ever have embarked on this particular filmmaking odyssey (making the pre
  22. Darth_Howell_III

    Darth_Howell_III Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 12, 2002

    I think the other two movies would have been better. George would have reached down a little deeper and not settled for third-rate acting.

    "Do you have any idea who's behind this attack?" Eccch. No convincing emotion, very amateurish.

    Natalie can turn in a compelling performance of a damsel in disress, but seemingly not for George "We'll fix it in post" Lucas.
  23. Darth_Pogey

    Darth_Pogey Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 4, 2005
    He still would have made it so the saga would be complete. He's like one of the richest people in the universe. I read in the Guiness book he got like 400 million for making TPM.

    DARTHMORDOR Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 17, 2003
    if star wars had floped.

    lucas said int the documentry on tpm that as long as he makes enough to make the next one he is going to be fine.

    so lets say a flop in the case of star wars is breaking even. that means even the die hard fans did not go and see it. you have some thing like what happened to star trek nemisis. it still would have made it's 70 million doller budget.

    and since lucas is worth 3 billion dollers himself alone. I think he still would have gone ahead and finished the trilogy.

    so not much would be different except lucas would havp put more of his own money at stake.
  25. D_Lowe

    D_Lowe Jedi Knight star 6

    Aug 15, 2002
    431 million isn't even close to a flop.
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