Star Wars: The Force Awakens helps deliver best quarter in Disney’s history

The Force is with Disney

Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise back in 2012 is looking like quite the smart investment.

Thanks to the global success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Walt Disney Company reported record quarterly earnings of $2.9 billion for its first fiscal quarter (ended Jan. 2, 2016). 

“Driven by the phenomenal success of Star Wars, we delivered the highest quarterly earnings in the history of our Company, marking our 10th consecutive quarter of double-digit EPS growth,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “We’re very pleased with our results, which continue to validate our strategic focus and investments in brands and franchises to drive long-term growth across the entire Company.”

The latest installment in the Star Wars core franchise is the only film in history to ever reach $900 million in the domestic box office. This weekend, the film cross $2 billion in global box office, more than doubling the worldwide box office for the last Star Wars release.

And it's not just the movie that helped Disney to record earnings. Global retail sales for Star Wars merchandise in the first quarter exceeded $3 billion, more than triple the global retail for the franchise in Q1 of last year.

Disney is also seeing "unprecedented growth" with its mobile games, and EA's launch of Star Wars Battlefront — despite complaints — was the biggest video game release in Star Wars history. It was recently revealed that Battlefront sold more than 13 million units.

Looking ahead, Disney only hopes to grow the franchise with new Star Wars movie releasing annually, theme park expansions, and plenty of additional merchandise all based the behemoth sci-fi franchise.  Of course, there's always the worry of franchise fatigue, but considering Disney acquired the franchise for just $4 billion in 2012, I'd say this is already proving to be one of the smarter business decisions the company has ever made.