In essence, he calculates Box Office As a Percentage of GDP, to evaluate the relative success of the Star Wars Movies in 1977 vs. today.
Naturally, A New Hope tops the list, bringing in .035% of the US GDP.
Solo does the worst, at .0019% GDP.
The blogger/economist thus observes that “Kathleen Kennedy wiped out 95% of the Star Wars franchise value”. He then twerks the numbers a bit more, and gives us a more conservative, mere 75%.
Which, as I said, is interesting, and certainly grist for the mill of those who want to make Kathleen Kennedy the Palpatine of Lucasfilm.
We cannot know, at this point, if Solo was an outlier or not. The narrative – that fans boycotted Solo in protest of The Last Jedi, is commonplace, and indeed was argued on this very blog. But we can’t call it a trend yet. Solo had things wearing it down in addition to the reaction to Last Jedi, such as the fact that no one wanted it in the first place. If Episode IX returns to the mean, then that means: a) Solo tanking had nothing to do with any boycott, b) said boycott has run its course, or c) the fan base is gaining new members to replace the old ones. And any of those will mean that the conclusion – that Kathleen Kennedy destroyed Star Wars – will be inoperative.
Also, the data suggests that, Solo notwithstanding, The Disney films are doing about as well as the Prequels. Force Awakens more or less ties Phantom Menace at .011% GDP, while Rogue One and The Last Jedi do about the same as Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Now, it is absolutely damning with faint praise to defend the Disney SW films by saying “they’re doing as well as the Prequels”. But if that’s true, then as I’ve been saying, the real damage was done to the franchise 20 years ago, and Kathleen Kennedy is merely the golem operating under George Lucas’ ghostly hand.
If Episode IX does fail, then Kennedy will certain deserve opprobrium for taking a profitable if damaged franchise and driving a stake through its heart. But if it doesn’t, then we must all revise our narratives.