Back in 2012, Star Wars fans the world over were shocked when Disney purchased Lucasfilm for a whoppin’ $4.06 billion. I remember the day the news broke, both critics and fans wondering what that meant for the future of the galaxy far, far away. It would appear that as of today, December 29th, 2017, the House of Mouse has made back their purchase price — at least on paper.
The Hollywood Reporter is saying that with the combined box office returns of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi have surpassed the initial price tag of the purchase. This, they go on to say, does NOT account for production and marketing costs, nor box-office grosses being split with theater owners.
On Thursday alone, The Last Jedi crossed $934.2 million globally, theoretically putting it on track for a #1 billion by the new year. The Force Awakens earned (without inflation) $2.068 billion globally, with the all-time best $936.7 million in North America alone. Rogue One came in with $1.056 billion. Only time will tell where TLJ lands within the new films’ box office returns, but it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down yet.
Considering the sheer amount of official Disney-branded Star Wars merch, it’s a safe bet that toy and collectible sales would also point to the balance being the black. Not to mention the not-yet-open Disneyland expansion set in the Star Wars universe set to open sometime in 2018.
Only time will tell if the next big studio purchase on Disney’s horizon will garner the same fiscal rewards, with the reported $52.4 billion FOX Studios land grab well on its way to happening. As long as it’s OK’d by Washington, this would make Disney one of the largest controlling companies of film studios in modern history. The purchase would include all of 21st Century Fox’s film assets, television studios, and even FOX’s stake in Hulu.