Star Wars is everywhere in 2015, even bullish reports by securities analysts. According to one report, even if it fails Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens is going to make Disney and everyone involved a shit ton of money—$5 billion, in fact.
In a new report reprinted in The Hollywood Reporter, Macquarie Securities analyst Tim Nollen says that The Force Awakens “could generate $5 billion in consumer merchandise sales in its first year of release, assuming it does better than Cars 2’s $3 billion.” Presumably, Kathleen Kennedy scrunched her brow while reading this, muttering to herself, “Of course it’s going to do better than Cars 2.”
September 4th marks “Force Friday,” the worldwide release date for new Star Wars toys and merchandise, and action figures, replica lightsabers, backpacks, and T-shirts will line the aisles of Wal-Mart and Target for at least a year thereafter. According to Nollen, after revenue for retail and merchandise partners “this would easily net Disney about $500 million in licensing and retail revenue.” “It’s not clear how to model this as we can’t name a similar such event,” the analyst adds. “Taking into account the strength of the Star Wars franchise, which altogether sold over $20 billion worth of licensed goods in its lifetime, we estimate that Star Wars: The Force Awakens could perhaps bring in merchandise sales of $5 billion this year.”
George Lucas famously sold his ability to craft a good story for the merchandising rights to Star Wars in 1977, and then sold an empty box to kids on Christmas.