How Stars Wars Merchandising Business Has Boomed

Star Wars is a creation of George Lucas. In 1977, Hollywood expected Star Wars to flop, but it ended up to being one of the financially successful films of all time. Since then, it started a franchise that cannot be killed.

George Lucas is the man behind the success of Star Wars. Lucas controlled the franchise until 2012 when he gave up control having made a lot of profit off it. Lucas was in charge of merchandising and licensing. His smart moves finally turned him into a very successful person in the entertainment industry. Here is the financial journey of Star Wars.

How it started



Back in 1977, Lucas negotiated with Fox to obtain the Star Wars merchandising and licensing rights. At that time, nobody predicted the deal would be worth billions. Before Star Wars, nobody says the value of movies partnering with toys. Since Star Wars introduction, it has been one the successful franchises in the entertainment business.

Disney takes control

In 2012, Disney took control of Star Wars and paid Lucas $4 billion for rights to the franchise. It is estimated that the franchise has earned not less than $37 billion over the last forty years.

This huge sum of money is from merchandising and licensing. Disney’s experience in merchandising and movie marketing has led to Star Wars success. Disney spent the $4 billion to have the intellectual property rights to produce more Star Wars films and to increase the amount of merchandise.

Disney came up with a 24-hour event it nicknamed Force Friday. During the event, more than 100 brand new Star Wars products were unveiled.
Disney licenses and sells its products. Disney is making a lot of money by selling old copies of Star Wars original movies on streaming or DVD. Its reproduction costs are minimal, and this is what brings in the high returns.

The best of new Star Wars Merchandise



There has been an even stream of content aimed at creating unparalleled hype around Star Wars launch. September last year, the merchandise was released and on October 19 saw the trailer made public. Nearly 300,000 social mentions were promoted globally. Later, Disney released an international trailer, an official TV spot, and movie posters. This brought Black Friday where sales boomed.

Disney’s success

In 2015, analysts predicted Star Wars (The Force Awakens) to generate $3 billion in sales and another $5 billion for 12 months. In the same year, 1.45m Discs of the Star Wars movies have been sold in the US, up from 0.63m the previous year. The biggest box office is the recent version of the franchise that has hit in the US. There has been a lot of downloads on the mobile front from fans.

The Battlefront video game sold over thirteen million units and broke the Star Wars history. Global retail sales of the merchandise exceeded $3 billion in the first quarter, which is more than triple of last year’s retail sales for the first quarter.

Some of the well-known Star Wars toys include First Order Star Destroyer, lightsabers, Millennium Falcon Quads and more. The Force Awaken, released in December 2015 is one of the biggest box office hits internationally. In fact, it was the very first movie to yield $900m in the US and $2 billion globally. Disney’s Frozen launched in 2013, earned $107.2 billion in its merchandise sale. Disney has started filming Star Wars Episode VIII to be released in December 2017.

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