How much is 'Star Wars' worth? Inside franchise's fortune and shocking revenues from films and merchandise
Regardless of whether you consider yourself a Jedi or a Sith, one thing a lot of 'Star Wars' fans will agree upon is that it is often a way of life itself, as with most fandoms. However, to its credit, not many fandoms have been as massive as the 'Stars Wars' multiverse.
Unless you have been frozen in carbonite, it's a known fact that the franchise has grown far beyond the movie screens and turned into TV series, animated series, video games, comic books and more, making it one of the most active fandoms and franchises since the first movie 'Episode IV - A New Hope' was released in 1977. Which brings us to our question, just how much is the fandom worth?
What is the cost of the Stars Wars franchise?
With extensive world-building, themes, plots and characters that have gone far beyond Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, the 'Star Wars' franchise sits upon an impressive $68.7B empire.
Series owes a lot of its success to merchandise
The merchandise sale alone makes a massive chunk of this number, seeing that it has raked $42.217B. 'Star Wars' owes its initial success to its merchandise, which set the tone for the rest of the merchandise.
As reported by The Drum, 'Star Wars' planned the release of novels and comic books before the release of the movie, subsequently creating massive hype around the franchise. Even when it came to marketing, Charles Lippincott, the man in charge of the same, increased the budget in order to introduce posters, costumes and more. "It created new ways for us to engage the audience, which resulted in more fan fervor," he explained.
In the same interview, he explained that a lot of tactical moves such as copyright of the franchise along with cashing in on the momentum of the fandom is what led to its success. When it came to making merchandise, nothing was off the table. "We merchandised toys, clothing, poster, books, Super 8mm clips, albums, costumes, fast food giveaways, but that is nothing compared to what is merchandised today," he explained.
"Today, everything from toothpaste to instant coffee creamers is being sold for the new movie. I’m sure if Star Wars wasn’t aimed at a PG audience we’d even have condoms and sex toys. We have barbecue utensils and high end furniture, such as Pottery Barn’s $3,999 kids’ beds. Everything under the sun that can be merchandised under the Star Wars brand is being merchandised," he added.
The movies are the next big money makers
After the merchandise comes the series box office successes with a total of nine movies, which has grossed $10,316B. 'Episode IV – A New Hope', which was released in 1977, grossed $775.8M. 'Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back', which came out in 1980, grossed $550.9M. 'Episode VI – Return of the Jedi' was next, having released in 1983, and it made $475.1M.
'Episode I – The Phantom Menace', the prequel to the series, made its way to theatres in 1999 and made $1.027B. 'Episode II – Attack of the Clones' was released in 2002, and made $653.8M. 'Episode III – Revenge of the Sith' came in 2005, making $868.4M. 'Episode VII – The Force Awakens' was the next movie, which renewed interest in the franchise among younger fans in 2015 and made $2.068B. 'Episode VIII – The Last Jedi' was released in 2017 and it made $1.333B. 'Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker', which was released in 2019, made $1.074B.
There are other sizeable incomes sources as well
Up next is the series home video revenue, which brought in $9.071B. Its video game franchise earned the series an impressive $5.01B and the book sales saw $1.82B. The TV revenue for the series stands at $280M.