Despite having spent 168 days on screens around the world, J.J. Abrams’ entry into the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens, limps out of theaters today having barely earned a record-breaking $936 million at the U.S. box office, Box Office Mojo reports. To put that into perspective, that’s only $176 million more than than the previous top-earner, James Cameron’s Avatar, managed to scrape together in 2009. What a missed opportunity.
Of course, industry insiders saw the writing on the wall when the seventh episode in franchise only pulled in a disappointing $119,119,282 (by BOM’s accounting) on December 18, the day it arrived in theaters with remarkably little fanfare. There’s plenty of blame to go around for this fiasco, with Disney’s marketing department having mostly ignored the release and the media all but pretending it did not exist.
At the moment, it appears as though Disney is continuing on with plans for an eighth episode, which is being written and directed by Rian Johnson. Though, whether it’s doing that as a face-saving measure or in an effort to recoup the remainder of its $4.05 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm—not counting income from merchandise, DVDs or streaming services—is unclear.