Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Will ‘Revenge Of The Sith’ Lead To Vacant Offices?

CHICAGO (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – You can expect millions of U.S. workers to play “Wookiee Hooky” when the final installment of the Star Wars series hits theaters May 19.

That’s the prediction of workplace trend expert John Challenger, who estimates 9.4 million sci-fi fans will skip work next Thursday and Friday to see the first screenings of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

To put it into perspective, that’s an office worker shortage nearly equivalent to the population of Michigan.

Challenger estimates the geek week absences will cost U.S. businesses as much as $627 million, with a high concentration in high tech workplace sectors like IT.

The impact is especially strong because the movie opens on a Thursday instead of a Friday, which means managers can expect two days of Star Wars slip-outs.

By comparison, when Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones opened in 2002, Challenger estimated the cost in lost wages to be $319 million.

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