While not strictly rehiring Kathleen Kennedy – as far as is publicly known she continues in the exact same role within Lucasfilm that she has for the last 5+ years – this article over at Forbes very clearly lays out why it’s a good thing that Kennedy is continuing her stewardship of the franchise during the Disney era, pointing most significantly to $4.85 billion dollars in the bank so far on a $1 billion outlay.
But try to ignore the online mob, and I know that’s hard to do when our SEO-driven media automatically brings them to the forefront and inadvertently gives them a seat at the debate table. What we have is a revamped franchise that has shattered box office records and earned mostly positive reviews and viewer feedback. Even if you account for Solo (ironically the new Star Wars movie starring a white guy is the one that was ignored overseas), the franchise has been a best-case-scenario for any kind of IP recharge. Nothing else, not Jurassic World, not Mad Max: Fury Road and certainly not Terminator, can compare.
All four new Star Wars movies earned mostly positive reviews and A or A- Cinemascore grades. Unlike a number of online user polls, folks who participate in Cinemascore polling actually have to have seen the movie. The two episode movies have the second-biggest ($248 million) and third-biggest ($220m) opening weekends of all time behind only Avengers: Infinity War ($258 million). Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has the third-biggest December launch behind only the other two Star Wars flicks, a $155m debut that is 84% larger than The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($84m in 2012). And all three of those flicks posted good-to-great multipliers.
The Last Jedi had a 2.8x multiplier for a $620 million domestic total. That’s actually a little low for a major Christmas release, but A) most December releases don’t open with $220m and B) it was still leggier than Avengers: Infinity War which earned $678m from a $258m debut. Rogue One pulled a “normal for a December biggie” 3.43x multiplier for a $532m cume, while The Force Awakens earned a whopping $937m from its $248m launch, a huge 3.77x multiplier. In unadjusted domestic grosses, the first three “new” Star Wars movies are the first, eighth and 11th-biggest earners of all time. Worldwide, they are third, 11th and 27th.