Disney is flexing their muscles to maximize quality control in a new set of regulations put on theaters showing Star Wars: The Last Jedi. When it comes to box office juggernauts, it's hard to compete with Disney, especially since they acquired Lucasfilm and Marvel. The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney represents 25% of the box office market share, which is quite a bit more than other companies, since Disney doesn't put out nearly as many projects.
As it turns out, Disney's market share of box office dollars has gained 10% over the last 6 years, which is not doubt due to taking on Marvel and Lucasfilm. But it appears that the mouse house might be attempting to maximize profits even further with new regulations that have been put on movie theaters that will be showing The Last Jedi. The new unprecedented regulations dictate how long The Last Jedi will play in the larger auditoriums. Theaters must play the upcoming Star Wars movie for 4 weeks, with no exceptions, in their largest auditoriums, which isn't that much of a big deal for theater chains in major cities.
The new regulations could end up hurting some of the smaller theaters that are outside of major cities. The Last Jedi will no doubt have a massive opening weekend just about everywhere, but will more than likely begin to fade out after that for the smaller places, which would make sense to put a newer movie into the coveted larger auditorium. If the theater decides to go rogue, Disney will slap an additional 5% profit share on top of the 65% that they are already getting.
This is speculation at this point and may not have to do with money at all. In fact, it is more than likely a way for Disney and in this case, Lucasfilm, to exert creative and quality control. Star Wars movies have long held on to the movies being shown in the best possible way and that goes along with sound just as much as visuals. In 2002, George Lucas tried to require that all theaters show Attack of the Clones exclusively on digital projectors, which didn't work out quite well for him, but you get the idea. The same can be said when the original trilogy came back into theaters in the late 1990s.
Disney and Lucasfilm are probably just looking out for what is best for what Rian Johnson has made while keeping the traditions up of a Star Wars movie being an event and a piece of art on the biggest, best screens that they can be on, for as long as they can. After the opening weekend, someone is bound to upload a crappy cell phone recorded bootleg online, shattering the quality, so why not have the option to see The Last Jedi on the biggest and best screens available? You can read more about Disney regulations for theaters regarding The Last Jedi via the Wall Street Journal.