Julia Greenberg for WIRED:
"In our very own galaxy, the company brought in a record $2.9 billion in earnings in its first quarter this year, which technically ended January 2. That record-breaking number is all thanks to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
'Driven by the phenomenal success of Star Wars, we delivered the highest quarterly earnings in the history of our company,' said Bob Iger, the chairman and chief executive officer of Disney. 'We’re very pleased with our results, which continue to validate our strategic focus and investments in brands and franchises.' "
Consider that the Walt Disney Company is probably the world’s biggest, most established owner of fiction franchises in history - it’s amazing that Star Wars can help even Disney achieve something like this. Some might say its inevitable with the popularity of the franchise and the money Disney has, but I’d like to think it’s a little more than that.
It helps that Disney knows exactly how to capitalise on the potential its brands have in this day and age - see the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also helps that Disney has a hand in the music and theatre industry, and uses their expertise to create multi-sensory experiences and market it as “magic” - see Frozen. I personally thought some of that magic could be felt during Rey’s introduction in Episode VII.
It’s only been a month or so since The Force Awakens - Disney is just getting started. A few years from now when all the movies are released, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’d already be a gargantuan catalogue of comics, action figures, collectibles, music, clothing, and more, based solely around this new trilogy (and the spin-offs) as opposed to anything that came before it, even the original trilogy.