I'd said this months ago when I had conflicting skeptical and optimistic expectations for the film. And the fact that I wound up loving it isn't going to make me back down from that. That issue, not how much money it makes (a SW films couldn't flop at the BO in this climate if it tried), or what professional critics and life long fans think of it, will determine the long term success or failure of The Force Awakens.
Everyone so far making extensive blog posts and podcast about how they feel abut TFA, positively or negatively, are long time SW fans, like myself.
I want to hear how this films was received by people 13 (like I was in 1999) and under. By people for whom this was their first time experiencing Star Wars on the Big Screen, besides maybe the Episode I 3D re-release in 2012 (I did see the Special Editions in 97).
I want to know how this was received by people who weren't into SW before. Who were casual fans at best. Who may have liked the prior films but not Loved them. Kids who were dragged to this film by their parents or older siblings.
I want to know if this film won over people like Episode I won me over. If this film will mean to the youth of this generation what BOTH the original film in 1977 and The Phantom Menace in 1999 meant to people who were kids/tweens/teens or even early 20s then.
If it fails to do that it would never change that I personally LOVE the movie. But likewise Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and 2011's Green Lantern are movies I can admit were failures in-spite of how much I personally love them.
But I'm optimistic that it did not fail. The way it's Meme generating on Social Media would need support from the youth in order to happen, I think.