The fate of "Star Wars" and film in general? Preorders.
The fate of "Star Wars" and film in general? Preorders. (Photo: Matthia Cortesi /

Entertainment industry needs preorders to stay alive

When the weekend is over, chances are the latest "Star Wars" film will have broken a number of box office records across the globe. The new chapter in the franchise has an international opening, and chances are pretty good that dollar-for-dollar, the movie will be a smashing success.

One record being pushed by the film isn’t talked about much, but it means more for the future of the movie industry than the likes of us in the audience will ever know.


In an era when storywriters hardly find big successes on original ideas, the filmmaking industry is standing on shaky ground. Some films earlier this year had a shortened window of cinema release before it found its way to a digital download stream. Producers and distributors are not seeing the big paydays that they once had.

With many of us carrying a smart device on us wherever we go, we have access to watch a film whenever the mood strikes. For us to take the time to go to a movie theater and watch a story with a group of strangers, well, it takes time or a special event for droves of people to even show up to fill a row of seats.

The industry has been grasping at whatever idea sticks to the wall to be the savior in a time where budgets and bottom lines need to be bigger commercial successes.

Preorders, seen by many at the major studios, is a place where the industry can prove itself. Before a single person sees the newest tale from far, far away, more than $100 million tickets will have been ordered through cell phones, computers or at the box office window.

That top dollar record, which "Star Wars" will likely break, is a proof of performance for the industry. It is a tangible show of support for an industry that could at any given moment see the floor drop beneath it.

For producers to pour money into a movie, it is a huge gamble. Proof of performance, which "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" will provide, shows that breathing new life into a film that worked a generation before can still attract l…