When Disney acquired LucasFilm in 2012 - and hence the rights to the Star Wars franchise - for around $4BN, I don't remember too many plaudits coming from the business press. A quick search of media acquisitions for that year lists Instagram (Facebook), Buddy Media (Salesforce) and AKQA (WPP) as the major events.
Whilst I am not suggesting those weren't astute deals - at $1BN, Instagram was phenomenal - it seems strange that Disney's M&A activity goes relatively unheralded, compared to it's Silicon Valley counterparts. More so when you consider they acquired Pixar, Marvel Studios and LucasFilm for a combined total just shy of $15BN.
It's estimated that Disney has now made a staggering $8BN from the Pixar movie Cars, in retail sales alone. Whilst the expansion of the Marvel universe is hugely impressive, I was prompted to write this Passle off the back of the box office numbers coming in for Rogue One - the first Star Wars spin-off made since Disney closed the deal. Consider that they are now scheduled to release a Star Wars movie every year, and the first one (The Force Awakens) made over $2BN just in ticket sales - before merchandising.
Even by Silicon Valley standards, Disney is 'coining it'.
'Rogue One' Scores Massive $155 Million Debut as Star Wars Fans Flock to Theaters