Disney’s decision to buy the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas for the princely sum of $US4 billion looks to have proven a shrewd move with reports that the latest instalment (out globally tomorrow) The Force Awakens will return them double that – $US8 billion – from ticket sales and merchandising.
A report by financial firm Goldman Sachs says the film is predicted to snare about $US2 billion in box office ticket sales (with about 40 per cent of that coming from US cinemas and the rest globally). However, the film’s real earner will be toys, merchandising and licensing that will amount to almost $US6 billion.
If Goldman Sach’s predictions are true, The Force Awakens will be the third highest grossing box office film of all time behind Avatar and Titanic. However, chuck in the licensing and merchandising and it’s on track to be the highest grossing film ever.
Disney has bought the franchise and is predicted to make a number of new instalments of the series.
Meanwhile, data point of sale firm Vend has released a report that shows Aussie retailers who stock Star Wars merchandise have already seen a 202 per cent increase in December sales from this time last year.
Sales in these stores have been steadily increasing since November as Australian shoppers rush to buy memorabilia in the lead-up to Christmas. To date the biggest day for Star Wars purchases has been 10 December.
“You don’t have to be the brightest lightsaber in the galaxy to know that Star Wars is pretty hot right now, but it’s great to see that its popularity is paying off for Australian retailers,” says Vaughan Rowsell, founder and CEO of Vend.
“Last year Australia saw record levels of Christmas spending across the country, and the industry coming off a pretty strong 2015 so it’s likely we’ll see another great season for retailers – and the Star Wars Effect is certainly helping. Now I’m just hoping there’ll be a Star Wars gift or two under the tree for me this year too.”
And apart from Star Wars collectables, what else might we find underneath the Christmas tree this year? Vend’s 2014 data showed the biggest sales uplift to be in furniture and homewares stores in December – 116 per cent higher than the November average. This was followed closely by book stores (93 per cent) and toys and games stores (61 per cent).
Perhaps the most surprising thing in the Vend Christmas data is that the biggest day for last minute gifts isn’t Christmas Eve, as urban legend would have it. No, it turns out it isn’t the day before Christmas that brings the most sales, it’s actually the day before that. Sales on 23 December were 61 per cent higher than the monthly average, while sales on Christmas Eve declined by five per cent.
“If you’re wanting to miss the crowds, get your shopping done as soon as possible, or at the very last possible minute, that’s the power of data. But if everything is sold out don’t blame us,” says Vaughan.
Vend is a leading retail management software company that powers thousand of Australian retail stores, from large multi-outlets to owner-operated businesses, and is used by retailers in 140 countries around the world.
The Star Wars Effect
– 202 per cent sales increase in stores selling Star Wars products
– 192 per cent retail spending increase in stores selling Star Wars products
– 210 per cent more Star Wars stock being held by stores