With the box office success of Star Wars: The Last Jedi this month, Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm officially paid off. To refresh your memory, in 2012 Disney bought Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas for $4.06 billion. At the time, this was seen as an astronomical amount and some people wondered how long it would take for the acquisition to pay off. Well, it looks like it only took 3 movies and five years.
This week, the combination of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($2+ billion), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($1+ billion) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi (close to $1 billion) eclipsed the $4.06 mark at the box office, putting the Disney purchase in the black for the first time. The Last Jedi isn’t done and is sure to keep climbing up the all-time charts in the coming weeks.
Of course, this exercise in economics is more for fun that anything serious. On the revenue side, it doesn’t take into account products, licensing, parks integrations and other streams of income. In terms of costs, it doesn’t factor in the cost of producing these tree movies.
Regardless, by any standard, the purchase of Lucasfilm was a net positive for Disney. With countless more films in the works and an entirely new Star Wars themed mega-sections of both Disney World and Disneyland coming in 2019, Star Wars will continue to pay exponential dividends to its parent company for many years to come.