Star Wars merchandise sales could reach $5 billion

Sales of Star Wars merchandise are on track to set new sales records. The film, "The Force Awakens," broke box office records with ticket sales of more than $500 million its opening weekend and sales of licensed goods are going strong.

Star Wars themed merchandise could rake in between $3 and $5 billion in sales this calendar year, making it the most valuable entertainment franchise in regards to licensed goods, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Toy sales are expected to lead the way this holiday season and retailers in the category, including Toys R Us, have devoted significant floor space to the products. But the strategy for merchandise sales has been more wide-ranging than just toys. Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise from producer George Lucas in 2012 for $4 billion, and is applying its extensive marketing, merchandising and promotional muscle to both the movie's release and merchandise sales.

In addition to toys, apparel sales are expected to be strong as shoppers look for Star Wars branded products for recipients of all ages. According to a report from Fluent, 31 percent of shoppers planned to give Star Wars items as gifts for kids under 10 years old, but 28 percent are buying the merchandise for someone 21 or older.

In fact, products became available to the public on Sept. 4 with retail event intended to rival Black Friday. "Force Friday," generated close to $1 billion in merchandise sales across retailers and product categories and online searches for the term were 52 times greater that day than average.

For more:
-See this Los Angeles Times article

Related stories:
Star Wars e-commerce searches 52X higher on Force Friday
Star Wars Force Friday a $1B retail event
Disney opens largest Disney Store yet in Shanghai
Walmart, Toys R Us, select Targets open late for Force Friday
Disney store redesign drives revenue to $760M in UK

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