The internet will inevitably spoil “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for those who don’t see the movie immediately, but Disney is hoping they can at least contain the purity of experience as far as opening day. Even if it means coming at the cost of acclaim from the awards bodies.
The Wrap reports that Disney won’t be screening ‘The Force Awakens’ for contention for National Board Of Review‘s best films of the year on December 1st. And they are likely to do the same with other organizations handing out their trophies in December including New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. And this decision is being made to prevent any story spoilers from leaking out before opening day.
Of course, Disney doesn’t need to the approval of awards bodies to get audiences to pack ’em in, and they are likely hoping to avoid what happened to Fox with “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” Back in 1999, Home Theater Forum posted the first review of the movie well in advance of embargo, leading to mainstream publications doing the same, with reviews available everywhere ten days before ‘The Phantom Menace’ was slated to open. It certainly didn’t help that the early notices weren’t glowing.
Essentially, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be on lockdown until December 18th, and we’ve heard rumblings that regular critics screenings also won’t be happening for the movie, and given this news, that’s probably going to be the case. So, it’s fans first this time, and/or reviewers who get in line with everyone else. And if you want to learn and juicy details about the movie early, you’ll just have to watch the carefully vetted bit of promo material along with everyone else.