Disney could make $5 billion from STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS merchandise

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Star Wars Force Awakens (5)

Folks scoffed when it was first announced that Disney would be spending upwards of $4 billion to acquire Star Wars. A ludicrous sum of money, that probably wouldn’t see any returns for many, many years. Right? Wrong!

Star Wars is already proving to be a massive cash cow for the house of mouse, and that’s with the property not having released a single film yet. Although December will change that. Because as Mel Brooks wisely pointed out way back in Spaceballs, it’s all about…Moichendisin’!

That’s where the money is, as THR cited a report from Macquarie Securities analyst Tim Nolle that was released on Monday, which revealed that Disney could stand to make a significant dent in merchandising, with upwards of $5 billion of cash generated when The Force Awakens arrives.

Of course, that cash will still need to be divvied up between costs and retailers, but whatever is left over, will still be quite sizable, to the tune of around $500 million. Then you’ve got actual ticket sales for Episode 7. That’s a trend which will continue with the next couple of films, as the analyst predicted:

Dashing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) stands alongside his trusty X-wing fighter.

“It’s not clear how to model this as we can’t name a similar such event. But looking at another successful Disney franchise, Cars 2 sold more than $2.8 billion worth of merchandise in its first year alone in 2011, and the original Cars movie sold approximately $10 billion worth of merchandise in its first five years of release. Taking into account the strength of the Star Wars franchise, which has altogether sold over $20 billion worth of licensed goods in its lifetime, we estimate that Star Wars: The Force Awakens could perhaps bring in merchandise sales of $5 billion in the first year.”

And that’s just for one movie. Disney Infinity 3.0 has hit shelves, and the Star Wars heavy game is already reporting good numbers. Then you’ve got Star Wars Rebels, which is also pretty damn strong in the Force of shifting merch.

Star Wars Force Awakens (1)

Remember, Disney also takes a higher cut when it comes to licensing fees, so retailers pay a fair bit more for their toys, costs which are then passed onto the consumer. According to numbers from the report, it could be seen that Disney earned $2.54 billion in licensing and publishing revenue out of the $45.2 billion total retail sales of Disney’s licensed products, which means they had roughly a 6% licensing fee. For Star Wars, expect that fee to be around the 10% mark.

Too long, didn’t read? Star Wars is going to make Disney a lot of cash this year, next year and every other year to come.

Last Updated: September 2, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Word-slinger at Critical Hit. Inventor of the macho Swiss gym chocolate known as Testoblerone. That's...that's about it really.

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