Say, did you hear, Rogue One tickets went on sale last night?
TNT and TBS will be the new basic cable home of the Star Wars franchise, per The Wrap. TNT will begin airing the first two trilogies later this month, beginning with The Phantom Menace on Tuesday, September 20. They’ll debut one film a night and finish up with a six-movie marathon on Sunday, September 25.
The multi-year licensing agreement also includes The Force Awakens (currently running on the premium channel Starz) and Rogue One. They’ll join the lineup in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Variety’s “industry sources” estimate the deal is worth “at least $250 million” for at least 10 films, with the rights for The Force Awakens and the upcoming movies in the range of $35-$40 million each. The deal runs through “at least” 2022. USA Network – which held the Star Wars basic cable rights back in the ’90s – and FX Networks were also in contention for the deal.
Rumor: Prequel trilogy, The Force Awakens coming to Blu-ray 3D in the fall? The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens had wide releases in 3D, but the Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith conversions have only been shown at fan events.
Variety reports that Disney began pitching the free TV rights – technically basic cable – on the Star Wars films last week, for all three trilogies. The asking price on is claimed to be “high” – even for the “vintage” titles. Movie rights are worth less and less to networks these days, but Star Wars seems to be an exception.
Spike TV held the Star Wars rights through 2014, paying $65-$70 million for six years and six films. The Indiana Jones films went for about $25M each in 2008.
Cable outlets who have met or are meeting with Disney include Turner, FX Networks, Viacom, NBCUniversal (which owns SyFy, which aired A New Hope when it first launched as the Sci-Fi Channel and USA Network, who had the rights to the original trilogy in the 90s,) A+E Networks and AMC Networks.
Variety cites speculation that the pitches to outside networks may be Disney’s way of seeing “what the market will bear” – aka covering their ass – before settling the rights on one of their own networks. (I’ve been expecting the films will indeed show up on Freeform.)
The Force Awakens will debut on Starz next year as the last film under the channel’s deal with Disney. TFA likely won’t show up on basic cable until 2018, while Episode VIII and IX will go to Netflix first under Disney’s current deal with the streaming service.
The U.S. can now get the Star Wars films in digital formats, and while Han doesn’t shoot first, there is one noticeable change… A new Lucasfilm fanfare replaces the 20th Century Fox one on all the movies save A New Hope. (Which, as we all know, Fox has distribution rights to in perpetuity.) Is this what we can expect on The Force Awakens? Almost certainly.
Lucasfilm broke the news we were expecting with a commercial during tonight’s big college basketball game: All six of the existing films will be available “globally” in Digital HD this Friday, April 10.
Vendors being name-dropped in the media include iTunes, Google Play, VUDU, Amazon, Xbox Video, and the Playstation Store.
Yes, the original trilogy will be the most recent Blu-ray editions, because if they ever do release pre-SE versions, they will not play coy about it.
All three prequel films will be screened in 3D at Celebration Anaheim, we hear from the Star Wars Insider via Yakface.
Although The Phantom Menace 3D went into wide release in February 2012, the remaining 3D releases were “postponed” in early 2013, not long after the Disney sale/Episode VII announcement. Attack of the Clones 3D was shown at Celebration Europe in July of that year, but this will be the first chance for the public to see Revenge.
The original trilogy screenings at Celebration Anaheim will be in standard 2D.
TheForce.Net tracked down forum member Queen Gimmedala, who guessed the Episode VII title way back in 2012. She told Eric Geller:
Ultimately this was a random guess. No inside info or connection to Lucas. But to me it seemed logical that the first movie in this trilogy would need to address the force. I’m a believer that the movie titles in each trilogy closely relate and I suspect this will carry over for the ST.
So I knew it was going to be 3 words, and the force. I also know that the wording would be vague/ambiguous/old fashioned like all the other six movie titles.
The Phantom Menace (something is wrong with the force), A New Hope (something is helping) and The Force Awakens (It’s BACK BABY). I LOVE IT.
Pretty neat! This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a fan predate an episode title, although under vastly different circumstances: The title Revenge of the Sith was used on a 1986 fan fiction novel, a story set some 40 years after Return of the Jedi.
FiveThirtyEight takes on Star Wars. This is all from one survey, probably not well populated by hardcore fans. Take it as you will, but it’s pretty interesting.
The Empire Strikes Back has been voted greatest movie of all time in a new poll from Empire magazine. The original Star Wars clocks in at #6, Return of the Jedi is #120 and Revenge of the Sith is #224.