‘Star Wars’ films help licensed merchandise sales reach $ 262 billion

With “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” providing major impulses, global retail sales of licensed merchandise rose 4.4% to $ 262.9 billion. last year, according to Licensing Industry Merchandisers Assn.

The association released the report on Monday, a day before the launch of the three-day licensing exhibition at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The report did not reveal any specific contributions from Disney’s first two “Star Wars” films, but Marty Brochstein, senior vice president of industry relations and information for LIMA, said the Tenpoles film links have played a crucial role in boosting the overall numbers.

“You had the first full year of ‘The Force Awakens,’ which Disney presented with an engaging combination of new and classic items,” Brochstein said. Variety. “The ‘Rogue One’ merchandise attracted a slightly older population and performed very well. “

Disney made a major effort to launch “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” merchandise in September 2015, with a “Force Friday” promotional event – three months before the film’s opening – featuring an 18-hour online marathon featuring YouTube stars opening up the toys online.

“The Force Awakens”, the first “Star Wars” movie in a decade, became the third-largest in the world with $ 2.07 billion at the box office. “Rogue One,” which starred Felicity Jones, is the 22nd largest grossing player in the world with $ 1.056 billion.

“Finding Dory,” another title in the Disney franchise, was also a major contributor to the 2016 numbers, according to Brochstein. “Dory,” which launched 13 years after the first “Finding Nemo,” grossed $ 1.029 billion at the global box office.

Brochstein also pointed to a pair of non-Disney titles as strong performers in the related merchandise: Warner Bros. ‘ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with $ 873 million at the global box office; and Fox / DreamWorks “Trolls” with $ 344 million in worldwide ticket revenue.

“Batman v Superman,” was seen as a minor disappointment for the studio for not hitting the billion dollar mark, but Brochstein said related merchandise retail sales were strong. “Both characters have a long history with consumers, so cinematic merchandise is natural in retail,” he added.

“Trolls,” based on the Danish Dam product line, will have a sequel in 2020. “Every year there are nice surprises on relatively unknown properties like“ Trolls, ”like what we saw with“ Frozen ”in 2013 “, he added.

The association also reported on Monday that entertainment and character licensing remains the largest category in the industry, accounting for $ 118.3 billion, or 45% of the global licensing market in 2016. Corporate brands and brands generated $ 54.6 billion, followed by fashion at $ 31.1 billion and sports at $ 25.3 billion.

“The 2017 survey reinforces the positive momentum for licensed products globally and across all categories, especially the large and growing entertainment / characters industry,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “This year’s results are also a testament to the impressive scope and strength of licensing initiatives in growing markets around the world, contributing to the continued vitality of the industry.

Brochstein said online shopping for motion pictures has become a key factor in the economic vitality of the industry. “People want to own some of what is seen and online makes the merchandise more accessible with greater visibility,” he added.