Know-How Movie Licensing 

Freaky Friday – 5 movies which sold the highest merchandise worldwide

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When the movie industry meets toy industry it sells the highest number of merchandise ever. A movie’s success is not solely determined by box office numbers or praise from the critics. Even if there’s no Academy Award, a motion picture with memorable characters will win over the hearts—and wallets—of people everywhere.

You would often see Toy manufactures like Mattel, Hasbro and many more, coming up with special edition merchandise or line when there is a new theatrical release. For the licensing and merchandising industry the highest number of merchandise is sold when there is huge fan base for the movie. The hotter the film, the better for the merchandised product of it in the market. Often the merchandised products turn into trend and fad.

This week we look into the highest sold merchandise movies worldwide and we need to thank the movie makers for the incredible characters given to us.

  1. Star Wars

The Star Wars galaxy has been always a hot ticket for merchandising. Since the series has been around for decades, dating back to the release of the first movie in 1977, “Star Wars” continues to be one of the most popular franchises in the world. It shows no signs of stopping; in fact, it’s set to accelerate. Disney and Star Wars has garnered $12 billion for the toy licensing alone.


  1. Frozen

Frozen movie released in 2013 was an instant hit not only among the kids but also among adults. It was heralding the return of classic Disney which we all loved. LIMA reported that the licensing segment of entertainment and characters — movies and stars such as Frozen and Elsa — accumulated $107.2 billion in retail sales. The category also accounted for 46% of the total $13.4 billion in royalties from licensed merchandise. It was one of Disney’s 11 franchises that drove over $1 billion in annual sales.


  1. Cars

Can you guess how much sales did Cars franchise sweep after its merchandise? It was a whopping $10 billion sale. It surpassed most of Disney’s beloved movies. The automotive characters made by Disney was fantastic, they created a whole Cars Universe, unbelievable!  The $10 million does not just include toys but other products too.


  1. Toy Story

This movie definitely drove the sales of toy industry to a new height; after all, the movie was all about the lives of toys. Even before the first Toy Story movie was released, Disney was selling 250,000 units of each character from the popular animated movie. It seemed that kids wanted to bring their favorite characters to life, initiating their very own adventures with Woody and Buzz. According to the reports, the movie Toy Story 3 alone had brought over $2 billion merchandised sales.


  1. Despicable Me

Minions were hilarious and we love them for being themselves always. When Dreamworks released the first movie in 2010, the only licensed toys were the plush minions. After the movie became such a huge hit, the demand for the toys increased threefold. The sheer popularity and use of the color yellow (gender neutral color) was one of the reasons why even the merchandises sold and appealed to all. It is estimated that about $230 million sales in merchandise products.


The merchandise of the franchise movie sells due to many factors and the most important one being is the awareness level. Star Wars, for instance, sells billions in merchandise (more than from box-office revenues). Entertainment/character licensing overall remains in the top licensing property type among the others. In Hollywood, merchandising is huge for filmmakers and is worth billions of dollars. It is time for Bollywood movies to realize the huge potential market lying in front of them for earning better revenues.

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