When Disney shelled out $4 billion for George Lucas’ Lucasfilm in 2012 and announced plans to make a string of new Star Wars movies, it was obvious the Mickey Mouse operation saw big-time dollar signs. Now, with the first of a new trilogy – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – set for a December release, it’s not just Disney that’s getting ready to count up mountains of cash.
Thanks to the full-circle branding and promotional efforts that accompany major movie releases these days Hasbro HAS -1.33% and Electronic Arts EA +1.52% are also in a position to grab a piece of the pie, as Star Wars fans shell out for toys and games.
In the march toward the movie premiere, these companies will participate in an orchestrated, hype-building campaign. So, if think you’ve already heard a lot about the new Star Wars trilogy, it’s only just the beginning.
Starting tomorrow, in a day that has been dubbed “Force Friday,” stores will start selling new Star Wars toys. In November, EA’s much-awaited Star Wars Battlefront will be released. Finally, on December 18, the movie will hit theaters.
“We expect media attention surrounding Star Wars will grow over the next few months, keeping the brand/property front of mind for consumers,” said Piper Jaffray analyst Steph Wissink.
The force is with Disney, Hasbro and EA
Hasbro has secured the major merchandise licensing rights for Star Wars movies through 2020, so stands to benefit from the release of all three motion pictures. This is how much Hasbro’s Star Wars sales are expected to jump, according to BMO Capital Markets:
The toymaker, which has said the additional sales should be split pretty evenly between 2015 and 2016, will continue to introduce new action figures and role play toys up until the movie hits theaters.