Star Wars:
Return of the Revenue
December 14, 2015

From Darth Vader coffee mugs to holiday sweaters with Chewbacca in a Santa hat, “Star Wars” has unleashed a galaxy of goods. Cash registers will ring again when “The Force Awakens” hits theaters on Dec. 18. The film could generate more than $9 billion in revenue for Disney and its partners, from cinemas to TV networks, retailers, and toymakers. Ticket sales alone could reach $2.4 billion, according to Nomura Securities. DVDs, movie downloads, and video games may total hundreds of millions more. In a slow year, more than $2 billion of “Star Wars” merchandise is sold. That could reach $5 billion, estimates Macquarie Research, putting it in a class with “Toy Story 3” for top-grossing franchises. “The buzz on this is tremendous,” said Marcus Theatres CEO Rolando Rodriguez.

Total estimated revenue for “The Force Awakens”

= $1 million

“The Force Awakens” could produce $9.6 billion in revenue from worldwide ticket sales, merchandise, and home entertainment in roughly the first year of release.

That compares with about $9.8 billion for “Toy Story 3,” according to numbers Disney provided in 2013.

Estimated revenue for merchandise from “The Force Awakens” versus 2014 revenue for all of Hasbro...

“The Force Awakens” projected box-office sales, compared with “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”...

“Revenge of the Sith” figure from 2005, adjusted for inflation

Worldwide home-entertainment estimates for “The Force Awakens” versus “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Frozen”...