The movie that started it all, Star Wars (1977), was made on a modest budget of $11 million. George Lucas had a dream, a script, and a superstar cast, and made a sleeper hit—the OG movie made $775 million at the box office! With that kind of success, it’s no surprise that this epic sci-fi drama shot into hyperspace.
🔥 Chime Trivia: Star Wars exists because one man, George Lucas, dreamed of telling an epic sci-fi story. That’s why it’s even more impressive that it’s the second-highest-grossing film franchise of all time, making $9.3 billion worldwide. Any guesses on what’s number one? Drumroll, please… the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
How Much Did Disney Pay for Star Wars? 💰
Okay, the real answer is a little more complicated than that, but it’s definitely in the Billions, with a B. Initial reports from 2012 told us that, after a stagnant period for the Star Wars franchise, George Lucas sold it to Disney for 4 billion dollars. But the actual number is much more!
When George made the sale, he asked to be paid half in cash and half in Disney stock. Technically, the deal was 55% cash/ 45% stock, meaning that Lucas pocketed $2.21 billion in cash and received 37,076,679 shares of Disney stock.
Since 2012, Disney stock prices have done what they do best—grow. If we do the math and assume that George still owns all of that Disney stock, his 37 million shares are now worth a whopping $7.4 billion!
Jedi Mind Tricks: How Much Money Is That? 🤯
Like comprehending how large a Death Star is, $4 billion isn’t an easy number to digest. Here’s a list of things that equal the worth of the entire Star Wars franchise:
Why Is Star Wars so valuable? 💸🚀
As a franchise, Star Wars is much more than the movies that inspire and awe us. The immense value of the brand is supported by merchandising, events, and theme park attractions in addition to the movie box office.
So yes, the baby Yoda stuffies, the adorable BB-8 figures, and the massive fan events like May the 4th and Star Wars Celebration are all part of why Star Wars is so valuable. Next time you want to pick up a lightsaber, you can pat yourself on the back for contributing to the intergalactic economy!
IRL Star Wars Money Facts 🤑
You know the characters and lore, but Star Wars by the numbers is a new perspective that might give you insight into how far this great empire reaches!
- We were not kidding about how big a Death Star is. Getting enough steel to build an actual Death Star would cost approximately 852 quadrillion dollars! Don’t make us think about how many mansions we could buy with that.
- Leia’s gold bikini is as infamous as it is iconic. In 2015, the original gold bikini was sold at auction for $96,000! As far as swimsuits go, we’d say it’s on the pricier side.
- America fell in love with Baby Yoda faster than Han Solo made the Kessel run. That love is why economic analysts say that Disney may have missed out on around $2.7 million in profits by not having Baby Yoda toys ready for Christmas 2019. That’s a lot of Baby Yoda stuffies.
- It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Harrison Ford playing suave Han Solo. But did you know he was only paid $10,000 for his role in the first Star Wars film? Though things seem to be getting better for him—his current net worth is around $230 million.
- To bring Yoda to life for The Empire Strikes Back (1980), the production team needed four different puppets of the wise, green master, along with professional special effects teams and puppeteers. No wonder the film’s initial budget ballooned from $18 million to $33 million!