The Walt Disney Company has just released its latest financial report, which indicates that there’s been a drop in sales for Star Wars. The report explains that there’s been a decrease in revenue from Star Wars-related products over the last year, but does this spell doom for the series, and is Disney mismanaging one of the most-loved properties in the entertainment industry?
Though sales are down, the reasons why are perhaps a little easier to work out. Here’s what Disney says in the report:
Lower income from licensing activities was driven by a decrease in revenue from products based on Star Wars and Cars and higher third-party royalty expense, partially offset by an increase from minimum guarantee shortfall recognition …
While it’s certainly arguable that the report indicates that audiences have gotten sick of Star Wars and are spending their money elsewhere, my bet is that this is simply the result of sales being so strong for The Last Jedi (Solo having flopped likely didn’t help, either). To put it as straightforwardly as possible: without a marquee Star Wars movie being released in the run-up to Christmas, there was less merchandise on shelves and little talk of Star Wars in the media. My bet is that when the hype machine for Episode IX is running at full speed, these sales will pick up once more.
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Even so, it’s a reminder that the appetite for Star Wars is not unlimited. Disney found that out the hard way when audiences greeted the release of Solo with a weary shrug, causing the film to drastically underperform at the box office. Fortunately, they seem to have gotten the message, cancelling some of the planned spinoffs and dialing back their plans in order to keep us from being completely sick of a galaxy far, far away.
We’ll just have to wait and see how Star Wars: Episode IX is going to turn out, but if it does as well as The Last Jedi at the box office, expect those sales to rocket back to their previous levels.
Source: The Walt Disney Company