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

June 19, 2013
  • Stormtroopers take over the stage at a private Disney event at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Walt Disney Co. is looking for a boost from "Star Wars" when three new movies are released over the next few years.
Stormtroopers take over the stage at a private Disney… (Eric Jamison / Invision…)

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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