Disney Now Has Home Media Distribution Rights to First “Star Wars” Film

Somehow this bit of info was missed in the flurry of news considering the divide between good critic reviews and box-office take versus the bitterness of theory-crazy fans, regarding the recent premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It seems an ultimate Star Wars collection may be on the horizon.

Thus far, any collection of Star Wars movies has been handled by the home video arm of 20th Century Fox. This changed with Lucasfilm’s purchase by Disney, as their own home media arm can now take over the distribution of the movies prior to the Sequel Trilogy, all except one.

The original 1977 Star Wars film, subtitled Episode IV – A New Hope, was co-financed by Fox which in turn was granted distribution rights for that movie alone in all perpetuity due to its iconic status. If Disney had been planning on any ultimate movie collection, it won’t include Episode IV.

Although it could only be viewed in hindsight, Disney’s landmark purchase of the entertainment assets of Fox, including 20th Century Fox, may have just brought closer to reality a titanic nine-movie collector’s set for Star Wars as early as 2020. It would go Prequel-Original-Sequel, with Episode IX premiering in 2019.

Of course, such a sprawling space opera bonanza isn’t automatically a done deal. True, Disney has announced its intent to acquire, but the actual deal must still be approved by the shareholders, and then pass muster with antitrust-happy US government regulators. These processes could take from a year or two.

As of the latest development from December 19, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has a worldwide total box office of $536.6 million – $261.8 million US-Canada and $274.8 everywhere else it has premiered. It would need to go past $800 million globally in order to break even with its budget.

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