George Lucas’ animated movie Star Wars: The Clone Wars as mustered a meager $15 million in its first three days of release and an even less impressive $25 million worldwide. It’s also produce some of the strongest splits in opinion of any Star Wars movie. There are some who loved it, but an equal number hated it.
Critical response has been even worse, with overwhelmingly negative reviews and particular criticism reserved for the computer animation itself although there were also complaints about the dialogue. But Star Wars has always been criticized for its dialogue so there’s nothing new there.
Failure? Not Exactly
So the Clone Wars is a failure then? Well not exactly. It was the third biggest grossing movie of the weekend which wouldn’t be considered a failure for anthing without the Star Wars brand.
There are other factors at play here too. This is really just the first 3 episodes from the new tv series stuck together and called a movie. As such it’s budget is comparatively small and its larger purpose is probably to promote that show. That probably explains the animation style (it has to be something that can be sustained to produce a full season’s worth of episodes.
I’m not sure what the exact budget was, but I suspect that it will make a comfortable profit pretty soon. You can’t call it an amazing success, but it’s not really a failure either looked at in those terms.
Mutton Dressed As Lamb
The problem really is that the name Star Wars comes with certain expectations. Even those of us disapointed by the prequel trilogy still expect something big when we see the words Star Wars and movie in close proximity. But Star Wars: The Clone Wars is just a tv series on the big screen. It’s not really a movie. And I think that shows.
It also doesn’t help that there’s already been a Clone Wars series (critically praised at that) so some people may see this as simply treading old ground. I’m not sure what Lucas’ obsession with the Clone Wars in particular is but it is starting to feel rather tired an if he must continue to play in this Universe I wish he would move into a different era.
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