Disney’s $4 billion Star Wars wager created a new kingdom 2023
Disney’s fourth-largest acquisition was Lucasfilm, home of the Star Wars property, for $4 billion in 2012. May the 4th, the Star Wars universe’s punny yearly celebration of “May the force be with you,” shows how the gamble paid off.
George Lucas’ late 1970s interplanetary franchise has opened several possibilities for Disney in the previous eleven years, including:
Disney released five Star Wars movies between 2015 and 2019, four of which were huge hits. Due to negative reviews and stiff competition, Solo: A Star Wars Story tanked at the box office. Disney recovered its investment after three films. The plot continues with three live-action Star Wars films.
Live-action and animated Star Wars spin-offs on Disney+ were a hit. The Mandalorian increased platform subscribers.
Disney capitalizes on Star Wars products.
Disney’s theme park already honors Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Yoda, and others. It’s sputtering, but that means there’s a possibility for progress and profit.
Disney’s biggest streaming hit is The Mandalorian, which premiered in November 2019.
The helmet-wearing bounty hunter and his cuddly pupil, meme-worthy Grogu, called “The Child” or “Baby Yoda,” have generated year-round enthusiasm. The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka followed the successful second season.
Disney+ has more Star Wars blockbusters. In mid-2022, Obi-Wan Kenobi had the largest Star Wars TV series launch, topping The Mandalorian’s second season. Ewan McGregor’s return as the pre-Disney figure thrilled fans. The Mandalorian, unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi, expertly balances nostalgia and novelty, attracting both longtime fans and newcomers to the brand.
Earnings of Star Wars
Before Disney, Star Wars merchandise went beyond action figures and tote bags.
To promote movies, books and comics have been published. Shower heads, dog costumes, and grilling items are more obvious products. Charles Lippincott, the marketing genius who promoted and licensed the first Star Wars trilogy, said there may have been “condoms and sex toys” if it weren’t a child-friendly brand.
Disney expected $5–7 billion in merchandise sales from the first Disney-Star Wars film in 2015. That number probably increased.
Star Wars theme park trial-and-error
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios include attractions and shops.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, called “the Star Wars hotel,” first attracted a lot of hype, but the $5,000-for-two price tag put many people off. 100-room attraction struggles to sell out. Disney reduced cruises and offered ticket sales to certain members and cardholders. For a focus group study, it paid people to stay.
There are issues to resolve, but as the corporation rebuilds a Star Wars fandom, there is huge amusement park entertainment potential. Especially since Disney revealed a fifth Florida theme park more than 25 years after Animal Kingdom debuted in 1988.