'Star Wars' Digital Downloads: Aren't You a Little Expensive for a 40-Year-Old Movie?

'Star Wars' Digital Downloads: Aren't You a Little Expensive for a 40-Year-Old Movie?

By Alexander Rader

The Star Wars movies are available today for digital purchase on services like iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Instant Video for the first time. For $89.99 you can own two and a half good movies, and then hours of other stuff George Lucas also made, now featuring nine additional hours of bonus features. 

That purchase price might be palatable to some fans, but seems a lot to charge as a promotional tool ahead of this December's new J.J. Abrams-directed installment in the franchise, now owned by The Walt Disney Company. Especially considering the franchise has already earned something on the order of $27 billion across its various outlets.

But most of that went directly to Lucasfilm, before Disney completed its purchase. Along with its Marvel revenues, Disney should see quite the revenue bump from the sci-fi/fantasy world this year, with The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the sequel to the third-highest grossing movie ever, opening next month, followed by Star Wars: Episode VII in November.

While there are probably some people out there who have no idea what it means to ask "who shot first?", those people are not likely to pay $90 to find out. And for those fans who do know, it seems the new digital versions still have the wrong answer.

Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

Healthcare workers with ChristianaCare test people with symptoms of the coronavirus in a drive-thru in the parking lot of Chase
Jennifer Corbett
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over the Missouri Sky after taking off from the Whiteman Air For..
© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”