The Force: Star Wars Franchise Worth Over $30 Billion and Growing

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24/7 Wall St. has decided to calculate the total value of the Star Wars franchise ahead of the release of the 3D film “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” and while its ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ MMORPG video game is going strong.  Calculating a total value for a franchise this large and spanning 35 years is no easy task.  Our projections and figures are based upon existing data and also consider some loose projections ahead.  If you use the publicly available figures for Star Wars and consider more recent events, the total value is already over $30 billion.

Sources vary from all over the web, and mainstream media articles often have different figures when they are close together in time.  Official sales data is not updated all the time.  Still, the $30 billion franchise value is heading up now because of the 3D launch of “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” as the (probable) first but not last of the Star Wars remakes coming in 3D.

The relaunch of the movie franchise in 3D is likely to boost the franchise’s value much more when you count ticket sales, and then tally up merchandise sales, new media sales, product sales and more.  Box Office Mojo noted that The Phantom Menace in 3D is going to appear in 2,655 theaters.  Throw in the intellectual property values and future sales, and the value will head far north of $30 billion. 

It was just in 2007 that Forbes noted, “Star Wars’ initial release was followed by another five blockbuster films and a mini-industry of tapes and DVDs, toys, video games and books. Taken together over its 30 years of cultural dominance, the Star Wars franchise has earned more than $22 billion.”   Another figure in late 2011 put the total Star Wars franchise value at a whopping $27 billion from Statistic Brain (using Forbes and Lucasfilm data).  We also have gathered more recent data than those prior calculations.

Star Wars creator George Lucas is now a multi-billionaire.  The Forbes wealthiest 400 list puts Lucas at a net worth of $3.2 billion in its September 2011 report and that is lower than the $3.6 billion in a prior report.

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Another 2007 figure used by Forbes was a monstrous $9 billion in toys with another $1.6 billion at the time having been generated by Star Wars video games.  More toys have sold since then, and more video game sales have been seen.

Brand new data from Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) shows over 2 million MMORPG have sold of ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ through the end of January with some 1.7 million online users.  Taking just half of the users with a two-month average life of subscriber dollars comes to $180 million in total revenues between sales and subscriptions in just the first quarter of 2012.  Then there will be the tail revenue stream from loyalists and those in the next upgrade coming soon, generating millions of dollars more each month. If the success remains, a business mind would easily predict another MMORPG sale in the future.

Lucas Licensing of Lucasfilms has noted over $20 billion in consumer sales worldwide.  This includes Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) and Kenner toys, merchandise sold, over 100 million books sold (with over 80 New York Times best sellers), museum exhibitions, apparel, consumer electronics, housewares, and the endless lines of other products.  The $20 billion figure has been used for quite some time as well by Lucasfilm on its site.  Imagine the sales that will soon be counted if you just looked at the major retail store websites: Toys R Us had 603 items; WalMart had 539 items; and Target had 800 items.

The Total Value of Star Wars Today…

  • $4.27 Billion in worldwide box office sales (See full chart below), not adjusted for ticket price hikes in today’s dollars
  • $20 billion in Licensing sales (toys, books, apparel, consumer products, and on)
  • $3 billion in video games (over 100 million units sold)
  • $2.5 billion, and climbing, in DVD sales
  • $800 million (or more) and climbing in movie rentals (going from DVD back to VHS and even Betamax)

THE GRAND TOTAL… $30.57 BILLION, and growing…

Forget about the $30.5 billion in total sales so far.  That assumes that all sales suddenly stop in the next few weeks. We will not count the $3.2 billion in net worth of George Lucas because that is a personal net worth even if there is overlap in some of the areas we would cover.