When Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.06 billion, it was not a question of whether that business move would pay for itself. It was only question of when. And now we know. Five years and three movies later, Disney’s Star Wars movies are about to cross the $4.06 billion mark at the worldwide box office, making that purchase look wiser than ever.
This interesting piece of financial trivia comes to us courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, who note that this particular milestone will be reached once Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits $940 million at the international box office (which should be aaaaany moment now).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $2,068,223,624 at the international box office back in 2015, not enough to make it the highest grossing film of all time (Titanic and Avatar still have it beat), but enough to make the initial investment feel like a wise move. A year later, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story proved that spin-off movies can also make a ton of money, with the film ultimately grossing $1,056,057,273 worldwide. When all is said and done, The Last Jedi is expected to land somewhere between the two, with some estimates placing it at $1.6 billion.
Of course, this news comes with a number of caveats. This does not take into account the box office grosses kept by theaters and others involved in the worldwide distribution business. It also does not take into account the money spent on marketing (hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars) and the investment made in various toys and other merchandise lines. Heck, Disney is still building those very expensive Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park lands.
But from the other end of the spectrum, we should also note that Star Wars merch does sell like crazy and those Star Wars theme park experiences are going to rake in all kinds of cash, so Disney has nothing to complain about just yet. In fact, they probably surpassed that $4 billion thanks to merchandise after The Force Awakens! It could be argued that George Lucas made a bad deal, but it’s not like the man needed more money (and he already had a longstanding appreciation for Disney).
Combine this with the billions made by the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, the billions made by the Disney-owned Pixar, and the billions that will be made when Disney finalizes the deal to buy 20th Century Fox and you’re looking at one of the six megacorps that will soon run the world with an iron fist. Who will you side with in the Future Wars? I mean, Amazon will get you to the battlefield faster, but Disney will keep you entertained between skirmishes. Decisions, decisions!