In 2015 two specific films stood out as wildly successful, taking record amounts at the box office globally. These were Jurassic World, which was released in June, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened to massive anticipation around the globe just in time for a Christmas treat.
Both films are the latest installments in hugely successful movie franchises that stretch back decades into film history. Jurassic World is the fourth film in the Jurassic Park series. It picks up the story 22 years after the original film was set. Now a dinosaur theme park and luxury holiday destination, Isla Nublar has a new attraction – a fearsome genetically modified family of dinosaurs that present visitors with serious danger as well as a slice of natural history come to life. Chris Pratt stars as Owen, a character who was a child in the original film but is now a fully grown scientist hero who must save the day.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens also transported audiences to a completely different world. This time, original characters including Princess Leia (now General Leia Organa) and Han Solo are joined by a number of newbies to tell the next part of the story. Three decades have passed since Darth Vader’s defeat and Luke Skywalker is missing. Scavenger Rey, her BB-8 droid and a rebel Stormtrooper pool their efforts to find him and defeat the dark side.
While Jurassic World took an impressive $1.7 billion at the box office, its rival beat it with an astronomical and record-breaking $2 billion. However, box office figures aren’t the only ones that count when it comes to measuring a film’s success. For the studios behind each film, their own share price will have been a key performance indicator following release. The studio that made Jurassic World is Universal. Following the dinosaur movie’s arrival in cinemas, Universal’s share price performance was up 6.34%. Disney, who bought the Star Wars franchise from Lucasfilm, fared slightly better following Star Wars: The Force Awaken’s release. Its share price performance improved by 20.3%. This seems to indicate that Disney’s film can be called the overall victor. However, not all the statistics tell the same story. Universal’s total gross on all films was $5.96 billion to Disney’s $3.33 billion. Contrarily, when it comes to profitability, although Universal boasts an impressive 19.3%, IG noted that, due to Star Wars success this figure is overshadowed by Disney’s 24%.
So when it comes to this long-standing double rivalry, between the two film franchises and the two studios, which product emerges as the overall winner? Although on many fronts it was a close call, for sheer box office clout and audience numbers, as well as studio share price and profitability, Star Wars: The Force Awakens walks away as winner.
Article by: Conor Doherty