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The whole galaxy knows that Star Wars merchandise has been a hot ticket ahead of Friday’s opening of the latest installment, but Nielsen on Thursday attached some numbers to the hype.
In the past year, 1.45 million discs of the six Star Wars movies have sold in U.S., up from 630,000 the year before and 454,000 the year before that, according to Nielsen.
While the numbers in 2015 appear impressive, they pale in comparison to 2005, when discs were more popular in general (thank you, Netflix) and Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith was tearing up the box office.
Book sales have similarly spiked but have remained far steadier through the years as the medium hasn’t seen the sort of turmoil brought about by digital services — at least not to the degree that home entertainment has.
In the past 52 weeks, 2 million Star Wars books were sold, up from 1 million in 2014 and 964,000 in 2013. In 2005, 2 million books were sold.
The most popular disc product this year is the original Star Wars Trilogy, followed by the Prequel Trilogy and then The Complete Saga, according to Nielsen.
The most popular book so far this year is Aftermath: Star Wars: Journey, followed by Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia and DK Readers L1: Lego Star Wars.
Nielsen also measured “consumer packaged goods” (CPG) and determined that $243 million in products such as Star Wars-related mac n’ cheese and other goods have been sold this year, up from $168 million last year and $189 million a year before that.
The three biggest CPG categories this year are ready-to-eat cereal, boxed prepared dinners and oral hygiene.
Nielsen’s report on Thursday didn’t forecast future sales, but Wall Street analysts expect that $5 billion-$6 billion in merchandise will be sold worldwide in the first year after Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens opens. For perspective, Walt Disney sold $5 billion in Frozen merchandise in its last fiscal year.
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