Star Wars. THE ultimate space opera. THE ultimate franchise. THE ultimate business builder. Star Wars is THE ultimate success story of all time. Unless you are living under a rock, you know by now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be opening to just about every theatre on the planet this week (official trailer is below). This is the latest installment in the greatest franchise of all time. Star Wars isn’t just about a few movies, it is in itself a galaxy of connected businesses.
According to Box Office Mojo, the six Star Wars movies have earned a total of $4.5 billion in ticket sales worldwide, including $2 billion in the U.S. The films have generated an additional $20 billion in merchandise sales, making George Lucas, the franchise’s creator, a multi-billionaire with a net worth of $3.25 billion.
Now, Disney enters the picture, after buying the rights to Star Wars (and Lucasfilm) from Lucas for a hefty $4.05 billion. They are poised to ring in the new year with this year’s blockbuster, and next year, they are counting on the Star Wars brand to invigorate their theme parks. Going to Disneyworld soon? You can meet Chewbacca, among other things.
With the expectations high, this is one franchise that will deliver as promised. Marketers everywhere are in on the action, and betting big this holiday season. The old standbys such as the toy companies like Hasbro and Mattel are joined by car companies like Fiat to promote their brands.
They’re far from alone. In Japan, Nippon Airways has taken a bolder action, and have branded their planes.
As we all are anxiously awaiting the final trilogy in this epic masterpiece, there will be plenty of Star Wars to go around for many, many years to come. Many, many more billions will be generated by this machine, or is it more fitting to be branded an Empire?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer (Official) on Disney Video