Disney has already earned back the $4.05 billion it shelled out in 2012 for Lucasfilm.
The entertainment giant followed the acquisition with the release of four Star Wars films, beginning in 2015 with The Force Awakens, and continuing with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
On the six-year anniversary of the purchase, CNBC reports the films have grossed a combined $4.8 billion at the global box office, justifying the massive price. Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst for the analytics company Comscore, told the outlet, “this was one of the smartest acquisitions in history.”
Although that figure doesn’t factor in production costs, it also doesn’t count the fortune Disney has made from home releases, digital sales, and the juggernaut that is Star Wars merchandise. The company is also constructing two Star Wars additions to its theme parks in California and Florida.
This year has been a mixed bag for Disney. While the studio has found success with films like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and even smaller fare like Christopher Robin, it has also stumbled with such releases as A Wrinkle in Time and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. The arguable failures also include Solo, which became the smallest-grossing film in the Star Wars franchise, with less than $400 million.
Dergarabedian explained that “by any other measure Solo was a success, but in the realm of Star Wars anything less than a grand slam home run is seen as a disappointment. So [Solo] was held to a higher standard, no question, but that’s because of how well the films have done even before Disney.”