Disney’s Merchandising Force Awakens

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Disney’s Merchandising Force Awakens

Date:  Tuesday, December 29, 2015

In just 12 days STAR WARS:  THE FORCE AWAKENS passed $1 billion at the box office worldwide. It has $571 million in domestic ticket sales and could pass JURASSIC WORLD by Friday, January 1, to be the top movie of 2015 in just two weeks of box office. By the time it’s done it could be the top grosser of all time, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Below the water is an even larger revenue stream. This Christmas one of the most popular gifts under the tree was some toy, video game or clothing related to STAR WARS. While this revenue doesn’t show up in box office charts, it’s massive.

Disney/Pixar’s CARS and CARS 2 did not come near the top of the box office charts for the years they were released, but CARS toys sold in huge numbers. While CARS made only $244 million at the box office and CARS 2 did only $191 million, CARS merchandise made over $10 billion by 2011. It’s made far more than that by now. The toys still sell. Also, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney’s FROZEN has done $5 billion in merchandise in just the last year.

One can only imagine the revenue from STAR WARS.

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Nielsen reports that, before December 17 when the new movie opened, STAR WARS books and videos have sold double this year than they did the year before. They also report that the top three STAR WARS consumer products are ready-to-eat cereal, boxed prepared dinners and oral hygiene (toothpaste).

The incredible popularity of the movie will, no doubt, have a profound impact on merchandise sales. It looks like Disney’s $4 billion investment in Lucasfilm and its STAR WARS franchise is paying off, big time.

Ironically, this hasn’t helped Disney’s stock top reach any new heights yet, because Disney’s sports outlet, ESPN, has been having some hard times.

Such are the financial highs and lows of one of the world’s top three media conglomerates.

 

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