A long time ago, in a board room far, far away, Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. The exact date was October 30, 2012, and in the six years since then Disney has already turned a profit on it’s investment according to CNBC. With $4.8 billion in box office receipts and a ton of other revenue streams, it turns out that owning Star Wars is one of the best things you can do with your money.
The profits are only going to grow with Star Wars: Episode IX coming out in 2019 and at least one more trilogy in development. Then there is the theme park money. Both Disney World and Disney Land have Star Wars additions under construction and with all the new movies coming out over the next decade there will be plenty to pick and choose from for updates, new rides, and lots of merchandise. So, so much merch.
Then there’s also the money Disney makes on DVD, BluRay and digital sales, not to mention licensing agreements for the brand and sales of its own Star Wars apparel, toys and novelizations. Ahead of the release of “The Force Awakens” in 2015, Disney’s earnings got a boost from sales of Star Wars merchandise on Force Friday, a September event designed to excite fans of the franchise to purchase newly released goods.
When you consider all that, Disney has actually shown great restraint only releasing four films since acquiring the franchise. They even recently scrapped (rumored) plans for a Boba Fett movie. Disney only misstep has been the utter failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story, a movie that only made $392 million on a $275 million budget.
If only all failures appeared to make so much money.