Star Wars: The Force Awakens Helps Disney Make More Money Than Ever

Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke all kinds of records following its release in December 2015, so it won’t come as a surprise to learn that the sci-fi blockbuster helped boost Disney’s bottom line. The media giant has now reported earnings for the quarter ended January 2, stating it brought in record quarterly revenue of $2.9 billion during the three-month period, compared to $2.2 billion for the same period last year.

In a statement, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said The Force Awakens was a “phenomenal success” and was the key driver for the company’s operating results in the latest quarter.

Having made around $2 billion, The Force Awakens is the No. 3 movie of all time at the global box office for receipts, only behind Titanic ($2.2 billion) and Avatar ($2.8 billion).

Disney’s Studio Entertainment division, which includes its film business, posted revenue of $2.7 billion, up 46 percent compared to last year. In addition, operating income surged 86 percent to reach $1 billion. The upswings in revenue and profit were attributed to the “strong performance” of The Force Awakens.

Looking beyond movies, Disney’s Consumer Products & Interactive Media group, which houses its video game business (among others), saw its revenue rise 8 percent to $1.9 billion, with operating income jumping 23 percent to $860 million. For games specifically, growth was driven by higher licensing revenue from DICE’s Star Wars: Battlefront, a game that Disney deemed a “success.” Last month, EA announced that Battlefront shipped more than 13 million copies, exceeding the company’s own expectations.

However, growth was offset by lower results for Disney Infinity, the company said, though it didn’t share any specific numbers regarding the toys-to-life game.

The Consumer Products & Media division’s 8 percent growth in revenue was tied with Media Networks (ESPN, ABC) for last place among Disney’s four divisions in terms of year-over-year percentage growth. Parks and Resorts (+9 percent) and Studio Entertainment (+46 percent) performed better.

Looking ahead, the next Star Wars movie is this December’s Rogue One. Additionally, Electronic Arts has teased that it is working on multiple Battlefront sequels.

Leave a reply