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Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4.05 Billion
In one of the biggest deals this year in the entertainment industry, Walt Disney Co has agreed to buy George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd and the “Star Wars” franchise for a consideration close to $4.05 billion in cash and stock. The deal holds out hope for the fans of “Star Wars” to expect another superb film of the series by 2015.
On Tuesday, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger told the media that Disney plans to produce at least three more films in the Star Wars series, which is one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. The last film in the series, “Revenge of the Sith” was released in 2005.
In a video interview put on starwars.com on Tuesday, Lucas said that he had already created the story outlines of three more films along with multiple other story lines for Star Wars. Although he expressed his desire to leave the mainstream of film direction, Lucas would remain the creative consultant for the new films.
In his statement, Lucas said, “It’s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers.” The deal would make Lucas the second-biggest individual shareholder in Disney with a 2.2 percent stake.
A Lucasfilm spokeswoman informed that the three ranches in Marin County, in two of which Lucasfilm operations are conducted, are not part of the deal. In his interview, Lucas said Disney was one of the best bets for the franchise, as “I really wanted to put the company somewhere in a larger entity which could protect it.”
According to Disney CFO Rasulo, each of the last three movies in the Star Wars franchise would have grossed $1.5 billion in today’s earnings. The last film in the franchise made $550 million operating income in 2005. Currently, sales of “Star War” items like Darth Vader and Yoda figures bring in roughly about $215 million a year, proving the strong and committed fan base of the franchise.