Costumes, Toys, And Soup Add Up: Star Wars Stuff May Be Worth More Than $9B To Disney

Yes, Star Wars soup. Yes, really.

Yes, Star Wars soup. Yes, really.

Hey, have you heard of this little movie coming out on Friday? It’s a Star Wars installment. Barely anyone is talking about it and there’s no advertising or merchandise, so it might be easy to…

Ha, yeah, even I can’t keep a straight face any longer. Star Wars is everywhere. On everything. There are the obligatory action figures, t-shirts, and costumes, of course, but those show up for basically any blockbuster. This, however, is the first Star Wars movie to come along in a solid decade, and the first one since 1999 that audiences expect to be good — and the first one with the mammoth marketing machine of the Walt Disney Company behind it.

And so it has come to pass that we not only have movie-themed merch in the toy and clothing aisles where we’d expect to find it, but on everything from soup cans to non-dairy coffee creamer to fresh produce. If you don’t think your lunch particularly needs to feel the Force that strongly, you’re probably not alone… but to Disney, it doesn’t matter.

Why? Because all those licensed goods are worth serious bank to Disney. As Bloomberg Business explains, all that ancillary stuff is likely to be worth several times over what the movie actually makes at the box office, even if it is a domestic and international mega-hit. As in, worth up to $9.6 billion — yes, with a B.

So how does that math actually work out?

Bloomberg is guesstimating that The Force Awakens will probably hit roughly $730 million of ticket sales domestically and $1.65 billion internationally, which is a reasonable guess if you look at the U.S. and world biggest hits. (The Phantom Menace managed to bring in over $430 million domestically way back, in 1999 dollars.)

All together, though, Bloomberg’s projections for ticket sales still clock in well under $2.5 billion. They’re estimating another couple billion from video game sales (including Disney Infinity and Star Wars Battlefront), and hundreds of millions in revenue from TV licensing, disc sales, and download/streaming fees.

But more than half of Bloomberg’s total projection, a solid $5 billion, goes straight to “merchandise,” and as outlandish as that number seems, it’s probably a good guess.

Why? As they point out, in a “slow year,” consumers buy nearly $2 billion worth of perennially popular Star Wars merchandise. In a year with an actual movie out, with new characters and all the toys that go with, that is likely to spike significantly.

Star Wars: Return of the Revenue [Bloomberg]