If there’s any new story regarding the sheer marketing power of Disney where its acquire subsidiaries like Marvel and Lucasfilm are concerned, look no further than this piece of news. Recall how The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm from founder George Lucas in 2012 for the sum of $4.05 billion.
It’s been five years since then, and two years since Lucasfilm began producing new Star Wars movies under the Disney umbrella. Three have already hit cinemas: The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi. Box Office Mojo statistics has it that the three films together have earned $4.2 billion.
That’s right; the three Disney-era Star Wars movies have already grossed in the international box office just a tad more than the amount needed to acquire Lucasfilm years ago, as of New Year’s Day in 2018. Granted, not all of the earnings are profit, but it’s still quite the feat.
The $4.05 billion value by which the House of Mouse acquired Lucasfilm from its founder was delivered half in cash ($2.025 billion) and half in Disney stock shares. Lucas had been considering retirement from filmmaking by 2012, and had decided to sell his both studio and the Star Wars franchise.
Before the acquisition, both Disney and Lucasfilm had long been steadfast collaborators, especially with the Imagineering division, from which they conceptualized and developed the various Star Wars and Indiana Jones attractions that are found aplenty in the numerous Walt Disney theme parks and resorts all over the world for decades.
While the gross earnings from the two released Episodes of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the Rogue One spinoff must consider the budget for all three films (averaging $200 million and up, each) and their respective marketing, there’s also the revenue from home video releases, film licensing, TV shows, merchandise, theme park rides and more, that will make up for the expenses. So really, what’s to say that Disney did already make more money from their Star Wars projects than what they used to buy Lucasfilm in the past?
And it’s not quite over yet. Later this year the second Star Wars Story spinoff Solo will hit theaters too. Episode IX meanwhile will be up in 2019, and a possible fifth Indiana Jones installment might be coming in 2020.