Disney sees 'Star Wars' driving up merchandise sales at light-speed

Already the entertainment industry’s biggest licensor, the Walt Disney Co. is looking to "Star Wars" to lift it to new galactic heights when it releases three new movies over the next few years. 

"It’s already an extraordinarily robust franchise without all that new content,” said Bob Chapek, president of Disney's consumer products unit. “Imagine what’s going to happen when we have this succession of new movies.”

The next "Star Wars" installment, directed by J.J. Abrams, will be released in 2015.

PHOTOS: Hollywood Backlot moments

Retail sales of licensed products based on Disney brands generated $39.4 billion for fiscal 2012, more than six times its nearest competitor, according to data from License Global magazine.

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-- Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times


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