Friday, February 04, 2011

STAR WARS Still in Force

I suppose it's a testament to how bulletproof of a property George Lucas managed to create in Star Wars that no matter how much fanboys (and girls) may enjoy pissing and moaning over the many paths the franchise has gone down in the post-prequel era, it continues to rake in money by the boatload. Heck, for all my whining about how much I dislike the various nips and tucks made to the original three films via the Special Editions (and really, really I do), I've still got my 9-disc Blu-ray set pre-ordered and ready to go. I'm not the only one with this Star Wars-sized blindspot though, as evidenced in this report in The Hollywood Reporter that the thirty-four year old brand brought in a staggering $510 million in merchandising revenue last year (and that's just from toys, games, and publishing, not even including all the other crap on the market with a Star Wars logo plastered on it).

510 mil is an impressive figure whichever way you slice it, but it's made even more so when you realize that the last time Star Wars was at anything close to a cultural saturation point was with the release of Episode III a whole five years ago (notwithstanding Cartoon Network's surprisingly good Clone Wars animated show, now in its third season). Five years is an eternity in pop culture terms, especially when you consider that we're two years yet from the Lucas Merchandising Monolith kicking into gear for the saga's impending annual 3D theatrical re-release (in number order instead of release order...yecch). Still, if $510 is what this franchise is able to take in during an off-year, they're really not kidding when they call it an "evergreen." I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'm in the wrong racket.

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