Now Disney should start worrying.
Following the poor box office performance, now it’s learned that toy sales for Star Wars: The Last Jedi have tanked big time, which is a major problem as sales on toys can account for upwards of 3 times compared to the movie’s gross.
That’s big money.
Bloomberg reports Star Wars toys sales were down for 2017 despite Star Wars: The Last Jedi having been released in the all-important holiday month of December.
An analyst for BMO Capital Markets is blaming the decline on Star Wars “burnout” or “movie fatigue,” and blame is even aimed at kids now watching YouTube, Netflix and social media for entertainment.
In addition, it’s said that Star Wars: The Last Jedi featured no new memorable characters, which is right on the money. A lot of fans weren’t happy with the new characters in Star Wars: The Last Jedi with reasons cited including the new characters weren’t needed or they took time away from the Force Awakens characters. Admiral Holdo, DJ and Rose just aren’t likable characters. It probably didn’t also help that a majority of the audience didn’t like Star Wars: The Last Jedi as well. And now we see how much of a mistake it was including “cutesy” creatures like the Porgs who obviously were written into the script to sell merchandise, but this, too, backfired on director Rian Johnson and Disney.
Bloomberg also notes that Star Wars still remained the top-selling toy during the Holiday 2017 period, but sales fell so much for Disney that the Star Wars brand lost its #1 position of the year.
It’s further reported, for Thursday, that Hasbro saw its stock decline by the largest amount in almost three months, with shares for both Mattel and Disney down as well.
Disney has also seen sales for its consumer products division fall 13 percent for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
Up next for Disney and Star Wars is the May release of the Han Solo movie, which will also have a toy line. Han Solo is also facing heat from the release of Deadpool 2, which Fox Studios recently moved up and now plays a week prior to Han Solo, so we see other movie studios don’t fear Star Wars.
What’s interesting is that Disney actually owns the merchandising rights to Deadpool as well as the X-Men properties at Fox Studios, but chooses not to release toys for them. Maybe Disney should start rethinking their strategy because you can only buy so many figures of Kylo Ren and Rey.
Admittedly, my own Star Wars merchandise purchases are down as I recently canceled my Funko Star Wars geek box subscription, as I’m just bored of Star Wars right now, and in addition the only character I really liked to collect was killed off in Star Wars: The Last Jedi–Supreme Admiral Snoke, a character that Disney interestingly enough released a recent playset for that tied into the movie.