The Money Shot: that space dollar

A storm trooper standing in front of a wall with Marvel comics on it
Strom trooping, across the universe
"While they took the world by storm, it’s unlikely that they’ll go down as great cinematic masterpieces"
  • | by Emily Bater

Christmas has come a week early for lovers of space adventures this year.

To start with, the UK's first official astronaut Tim Peake jetted off to the international space station.

Then, the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise hit cinemas across the USA and UK.

And if initial reports are to believed, the Force Awakens is a stonker.

We don't do spoilers here at the Money Shot, but it sounds like it's full of that old Star Wars magic, minus old not-so-favourites such as Jar Jar Binks…

Not only will JJ Abrams' new instalment make many fans happy, it'll make the bosses at Disney happy too.

The family entertainment giant bought Star Wars production firm Lucasfilm for a whopping $4bn in 2012.

With the first instalment alone hoping to make $2bn, it seems like it was a sound investment.

The $2bn club

Only two films have ever made more than $2bn worldwide - James Cameron's Titanic in 1997 at $2.1bn and Avatar in 2009 with $2.78bn.

And while they took the world by storm, it's unlikely that they'll go down as great cinematic masterpieces, so we at the Money Shot hope for more from the Force Awakens than big bucks.

If the crowds at midnight screenings are anything to go by, Star Wars: The Force Awakens looks set to make what it's expected and more. Last month it took a record £33m in advance ticket sales alone.

Star Wars opens in Asia after Christmas, so the jury is out on whether it can beat a drowning Jack and the Na'vi…

On Covered mag this week

Derri Dunn shines a light on the mysteries of ferret racing.

Here's how to get buff with your pet.

Our financial boffins share their new year's resolutions.

News in brief

Estate agents and homeowners are rubbing their hands with glee at the news that house prices are set to rise by 50% in the next 10 years - everyone else, not so much. According to the National Association of Estate Agents and the Association of Residential Letting Agents, the average house price will rise from £280,000 to £419,000 by 2025.

The government is considering giving new powers to the Bank of England to rein in buy-to-let mortgages. The powers - which already apply to residential mortgages - would allow the Bank to order banks and building societies to limit the sums they lend to landlords.

Being self-employed is going to get easier in 2016 as HMRC launched personal tax accounts this week. The new accounts will allow the self-employed to see their tax details and make payments at any time.

Covered missives

To the merry elves at Covered mag,

I am writing with high praise for your recent efforts with the Money Shot, I can honestly say that it wouldn't be Friday without my weekly edition of steaming hot financial news.

So with that in mind I only have one wish this yuletide, that you'll write a Christmas Day-edition of my favourite column. Please tell me that my wish will come true.

All the best,

Priscilla Winklebottom, Clacton-on-Sea

Dear Priscilla,

We fear that you may be disappointed as we won't be producing a Christmas Day Money Shot.

Although we believe that content never sleeps, we do maintain that occasionally it stops to eat 20 mince pies and get merry with a few too many mimosas once a year.

We hope you're not too distraught.


Covered mag writers

The Money Shot will be back for more shenanigans in 2016 - until then, send us your letters.