Just how long does it take to make a profitable return on a $4 billion investment? For Disney? Almost six years to the day. It was back on October 30, 2012 that media outlets confirmed the news that George Lucas sold the Star Wars franchise to the Mouse House. It was no Halloween trick; here we are on All Saints Day 2018 and Mickey has certainly gotten his treat. Yes, Disney has turned a Star Wars profit.
To say that fans were skeptical of the sale six years ago is a gross understatement. The Star Wars franchise had been, at that time, one of the most popular, and profitable, entertainment franchise in history. Concerns ranged from whether Disney would over-commercialize the franchise to whether it would “Disney-fy” Star Wars and make it more geared towards its typical, child audience. Despite those concerns, Disney has reaped all the Star Wars profit it expected.
The Path to Star Wars Profit
If reports are true, according to Comic Book Movie, the Lucasfilm acquisition has “more than made back” the $4 billion Disney shelled out six years ago. The path to that Star Wars profit, however, hasn’t always been a smooth one. Disney got off on the wrong foot by immediately cancelling Star Wars: The Clone Wars in favor of the new Rebels series. That of course angered fans. In hindsight, the decision was a sound one. A hit with fans and critics alike, Star Wars Rebels continued to showcase Clone Wars writer and producer Dave Filoni’s brilliance. Now, Clone Wars is literally back by popular demand.
There have been other missteps to mar Kathleen Kennedy’s tenure as head of Lucasfilm, from claims of social justice activism, to the highly divisive Episode VIII, to the botched handling of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Even still, fans love their Star Wars. Threats of boycotts and exodus from the fandom don’t seem to have slowed the juggernaut of a science-fiction franchise. There is still plenty of Star Wars profit to be had.
What’s Next For Disney and Lucasfilm
2019 is shaping up to be the biggest year in Star Wars in a very long time. Star Wars Episode IX comes out in December. Before that, however, we’ll also get The Mandalorian and Clone Wars‘ return. Both shows are coming to Disney’s new streaming service sometime next year. That’s a lot of subscription and box office dollars alone. Add in merchandising and other tie-ins, well…. I suppose the question now becomes just how much Star Wars profit Disney will make.
Source: Comic Book Movie