Businessweek published a five-page article How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for ‘Star Wars’ a few days ago and it is a fascinating read as to how the $4 billion dollar deal came about. It’s told mostly from the point of view of Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney, the man responsible for their acquisition of first Pixar, then Marvel, and now Lucasfilm. I did not know this but he and George had actually worked together in the past on Young Indiana Jones when Iger was at ABC. Fast forward a few years, Iger’s running Disney, Lucas is ready to retire, and they meet for breakfast:
Posts Tagged ‘Disney’
I want to say stranger things have happened, but I can’t think of anything right now. I’m pretty dumbfounded and have no idea how to react.
Update: Disney plans on releasing a new Star Wars film every two years, so says their blog.
Press release below:
BURBANK, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.
Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed thatStar Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”
Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.
Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Warsfeature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.
The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.
Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.
The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application ofinnovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.
The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.
Amazon posted the following on the pre-order page for the Avengers 10-disc Blu-ray collection, and the news is not good:
ITEM UPDATE: The “Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One–Avengers Assembled Collection” will not be released by Marvel as we originally expected. We know this delay is disappointing, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this causes. Marvel is planning to offer a similar collection in new packaging. The new collection will include the original titles offered with the first version of the item, and we expect it will be available in the spring of 2013. Additional information will be available on our website and via email when available.
Spring 2013 is a long time to wait. I was hoping Disney would do what Pixar did when they released the Luxo Jr. lamp and just come to a settlement. It could be that the luggage company’s demands were too high so I can’t blame the big D entirely. They’re going to miss the holiday sales rush though, and that can’t be good for the bottom line. Maybe they’ll release the movie back in theaters again to make up for it. Who knows…
You know, when I first heard about the LEGO Disney alliance and that they would be making figures based on Toy Story 3, I felt a twinge of excitement. I mean, who doesn’t love the Toy Story movies? And seeing them rendered in LEGO minifigure form would make any fan wet their pants with anticipation. What I saw today at SDCC just completely blew my mind. The figures that were there were final production figures, so what you see is what you get. And I can’t believe just how AWESOME they are. Some highlights below, full pictures in the LEGO Toy Story 2010 flickr set:
I’ve uploaded my pics of the Prince of Persia line. Nothing too much to get excited about… except for the ostrich and the camel elements. Yep, you heard, me, an ostrich and a camel. I’m not sure what happened to the white balance setting in the ostrich pic, but the feathers are supposed to be black. Anyways, tt was just minifigs on display, and these were all prototypes, so please keep that in mind when viewing the images. They are all available for viewing in the LEGO Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time flickr set, some highlights below:
In my packet of press releases I received from LEGO today, one sheet announced a licensing agreement reached between The LEGO Group and Disney. I wish I had a copy of the press release in digital form so I can republish, or link to it if it was on their site. In any case, it breaks down to the following Disney properties:
Toy Story: Starting in 2010, LEGO will release sets based on Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3 (the film is set for release in June 2010). LEGO System sets based on TS 1 and 2 will be released starting January 2010, with a May release for TS3. LEGO Duplo sets based on TS will be released in June 2010.
Cars: LEGO Duplo sets based on this property will launch in June 2010. No indication of System sets at this time.
Prince of Persia: LEGO will be releasing sets based on the film Prince of Persia: Sands of Time scheduled for release in April 2010 with a film release of June 2010. This makes me want to whip out my Gamecube and play the game all over again.