Posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
In today’s edition of Star Wars Bits we’ll take a look at the following:
- The date and location of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens world premiere
- The Disney logo/fanfare will not play before Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Is the rumor that Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t screen early for press a bad sign?
- What color lightsaber would Benicio del Toro have?
- Star Wars producer Simon Kinberg on secrets, strong female characters and Bob Iger‘s involvement.
- R2 Builders have launched the BB-8 Builders Club
- And the above art is Niel Brady’s submission to the Star Wars Art Awakens fan art contest.
All that and more in today’s Star Wars Bits. Hit the jump to hyperspace!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens World Premiere Date
The Hollywood Reporter has learned the date and location of the world premiere for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. According to their sources, the film will have its world premiere in Los Angeles on December 14th, 2015, before heading for a premiere in London “followed by other events around the world.” The report also claims that there “likely will be minimal screenings for press and cast and crew in advance of the premiere.”
Junkets for movies usually take place in the days leading up to the world premiere when the whole cast and crew is together. This usually happens a few weeks before release, and not the week of release.
Not Screening For Press Until Days Before Release?
If THR’s report is correct, junket press either won’t have the movie screened for them or will not see the movie until after the premiere on December 14th, which is hours before the film hits theaters internationally. Remember, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit theaters on December 17th in the U.K. and December 16th in France prior to its debut in the United States on December 18th.
In the film critic world, typically only films that are not good don’t screen early, but Star Wars can be the exception for anything and probably is. This is no cause for alarm — but one has to wonder why Disney would not screen the film for press and critics until the day or days before release.
You may guess that it has to do with spoilers, but the ebook release of The Force Awakens novelization hits the same week and all the spoilers will very likely leak out well before the premiere (look at how that happened with all the toys).
The decision to screen so late likely has to do with one of a few things: secrecy (which I doubt — remember, a studio will put a spoiler moment in a trailer if they think it will sell more tickets), the fact that the film isn’t done and will be worked on until the last minutes (this is typical of director J.J. Abrams and not an indication of the film’s state), or maybe a strategy to create an unprecedented trending event on social media the week of release by forcing all coverage, reviews, interviews, etc., to hit at the same time.
Some people say that screening the film to critics and press can only hurt it. But I think that is only true if a substantial amount of those people don’t love it. Good word of mouth can help any movie, even a movie on the galactic event level of Star Wars. And we’ve already seen much evidence that bad reviews can’t hurt a big blockbuster event film (see the Transformers film franchise as evidence).
StarWarsJunk is reporting that the Disney logo and fanfare will not play before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The report claims that Disney’s CEO Bob Iger did a Skype Q&A with 500 college students and revealed that we should only expect the Lucasfilm logo and fanfare before the movie, as the the Disney logo and fanfare.
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise as the Walt Disney Pictures logo and fanfare doesn’t play in front of the Marvel Studios films, and Disney is probably taking the same tactic with the Star Wars line of films.