Obligated to Truth

The AMSA Voice

Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

The+Walt+Disney+Company+appears+to+have+gotten+a+bargain+with+its+acquisition+of+Lucasfilm.
The Walt Disney Company appears to have gotten a bargain with its acquisition of Lucasfilm.

The Walt Disney Company appears to have gotten a bargain with its acquisition of Lucasfilm.

Google image/Creative Commons license

Google image/Creative Commons license

The Walt Disney Company appears to have gotten a bargain with its acquisition of Lucasfilm.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Just after The Walt Disney Company’s purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05 billion, many people wondered just what Disney was paying for. The rights to make new Star Wars films? More Indiana Jones? Merchandising? Theme park rides?

The movies had seemed to hit a popular and critical ceiling, and there was a lot of competition out there (super heroes, anyone?) in the form of merchandise and amusement park attractions.

But Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente made a prescient statement to The Hollywood Reporter after the deal went through.

As was the case for Disney’s Pixar and Marvel acquisitions, although near-term financial returns will be difficult to justify, long-term strategic benefits may crystallize over time,” he said.

They have crystallized, all right, and Disney’s gamble has paid off big time. With two movies certified as huge hits–Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the stand-alone Rogue One: A Star Wars Story–the company, even after production and marketing costs and splits with theater chains are accounted for, has already recouped about $1 billion of its investment at the box office alone.

“This [property] is a beast,” said Marc Mostman, a partner at Striker Entertainment, an entertainment-focused licensing and merchandising agency, upon the release of The Force Awakens. “I can’t wait to see where else it will go.”

When Disney bought out Star Wars creator George Lucas, many people were skeptical as to where the franchise would go, especially after Mr. Lucas’ ideas were politely rejected by its new owners.

Mr. Lucas had been the driving force behind six films that completely altered the pop culture landscape. Was it possible for another company or person to produce the same vibe from the films to keep the fandom interested?

Google image/Creative Commons license
Star Wars: The Force Awakens made almost $2 billion at the global box office.

Disney essentially hit the reset button and hired a team, led by director J.J. Abrams, that would recreate the feeling and mood of the original 1977 film (recycling some of its plot elements in the process) and even bring back the core original cast.

It drew Star Wars fans from all corners of the globe and even won over the majority of critics.

To the surprise of just about everyone, The Force Awakens pulled in just shy of $2 billion in combined domestic and international box office receipts.

The great news for Disney is that there seems to be plenty more where that came from. With the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came another $290.5 million in just its global opening, earning Disney the title of Hollywood’s first $7 billion studio according to Fortune.

There is no reason to think that revenue will slow down appreciably for the next three installments slated for production. Mr. Lucas has let his baby go and it is running, not walking, to the bank.

[Disney] looked at the stories and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans. They decided they didn’t want to use [my] stories; they decided they were going to do their own thing,” Mr. Lucas told Business Insider. “They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway—if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do.”

It is clear that fans will follow the intergalactic travels of the franchise just about anywhere, and the journey will continue to line Disney’s pockets.  

The $1 billion profit return thus far doesn’t include any Netflix or cable deals or even merchandising revenue. Analysts continue to estimate a return of $1 billion every two years just at the box office.

If anything, Disney appears to have gotten a bargain.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    Trump and the echoes of Watergate

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    Debate over the death penalty

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    The thin line between sensitivity and censorship

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    Race and America: a problem without an apparent end

  • Analysis

    Fear and anxiety across the Atlantic mirrors America’s own crisis

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    Can a President Trump succeed?

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    Thinking twice about Dylan’s Nobel Prize

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    The West must come together to combat terror

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    Let’s talk about Trump–for real

  • Disney wins big with Lucasfilm

    Analysis

    Experiencing both ends of the political spectrum

Obligated to Truth
Disney wins big with Lucasfilm