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Disney’s new Star Wars films already earned more than $4 billion. Here's why that's a big deal

POSTED: December 30, 2017 2:29 a.m.
Herb Scribner/

A scene from "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."

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Disney’s decision to buy Lucasfilm doesn’t look so silly now.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” just eclipsed the $940 million mark in sales at the worldwide box office, bringing Disney’s total gross earnings from the new Star Wars films over $4 billion, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Why is that significant? In 2012, Disney paid Lucasfilm $4 billion for the Star Wars franchise. This means Disney has earned more money from its Star Wars films ticket sales than it cost to buy Lucasfilm.

Here’s a breakdown of how much the new Star Wars films have earned at the box office:

  • “The Force Awakens” (2015): $2.068 billion
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016): $1.056 billion
  • “The Last Jedi” (2017): $940 million
“Last Jedi” won’t premiere in China until Jan. 6, 2018, meaning more earnings are likely on the way, according to Uproxx.

Of course, the $4 billion earned is gross income and doesn’t account for the budgets used to make the movies. "The Force Awakens," for example, cost $245 million to make.

At the same time, the earnings don’t account for revenue streams such as merchandise or theme park attractions, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Five years, three films, four billion dollars. You could definitely say the Force is with Disney,” Ryan Harkness wrote for Uproxx.

Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm came after its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and its purchase of Pixar in 2006.

More recently, Disney completed a $52.4 billion deal for 21st Century Fox, which includes the 20th Century Fox film and television studios. This will bring a wealth of franchises and classic films over to the Disney brand.
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