Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breaking News : Disney Acquire Lucas Film for $4 Billion !!! Star Wars 7 Movie to be Released in 2015, and more...!!!

This Is the news of the month, folks, and we're not April Fools day! It's official: Disney and Lucas announces that Disney acquire Lucas Film for $4B and this includes not only all the rights of the Star Wars franchise but also Georges Lucas SFX studio Industrial Light and Magic, Skywalker Sound, of course Indiana Jones license, and much more. In addition Disney and Lucas also announces that a Star Wars 7 movie will come in 2015 AND episode 8 and 9 are also planned. As a matter of fact the episode 7 is already in early stage development and you can expect a new Star Wars movie each 2-3 years!

Incredible. The consequences of this are going to be enormous and there is a lot to say about what will happen next, but for theme park fans who are also Star Wars fans this is real good news as you can expect numerous development of the Star Wars franchise in Disney theme parks. Now that Disney will not have to pay a license fee each time they do a new SW inspired ride - and now that they will re-launch the SW movies - you can expect not only new Star Wars rides but very probably a whole Star Wars land if not a full theme park! And yes, Disneyland Paris fans are now closer than ever to get the Star Wars mini land expected in Discoveryland...probably after the release of the Star Wars 7 expected in 2015.

There is a lot more to say about this amazing news which came with a sound of thunder, and i'll be back soon to tell you more. In the meantime, please read the full 
WDC release below!

Here is the official video with Lucas and Iger signing the deal!

They also did a conference call and here is the video - actually only the sound - of it!

On this next video George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discuss the future of Star Wars movies.

And here is the official press release!

Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 – 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 that Star 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 Warsfranchise 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 Wars feature 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 madeStar 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 of innovative 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.

Pictures and Video: copyright Disney - Lucas Film


Anonymous said...

C'est une excellente nouvelle et tellement évidente quand on y pense.

On revanche je reste très prudent sur les parcs notamment celui de Paris. N'oublions pas que Disney a aussi acheté la licence Avatar pour les parcs, puis Marvel, maintenant Star Wars... ca fait bcp de choses qui pour le moment ne donnent rien de concret. Disneyland Paris (de source fiable) n'a jamais prévu de Starwars land, ni même de changement de Star Tours pour le moment (ce qui arrivera tout de même à mon humble avis). Quand on sait que Ratatouille n'ouvrira pas avant 2014, je pense qu'on n'est pas pret d'avoir du nouveau sur Star Wars ou Marvel avant au moins 2016-2017

Cependant ca reste une excellente nouvelle, en esperant voir debarquer aussi les STAR WARS days en France dans les prochaines années.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

That's really great news! I'm sure that Disney will expand both franchises now.

I was really hoping for more Star Wars movies, and I'm really glad that they are finally confirmed!

By the way, does anyone know if the new SW movies are going to continue from Return of the Jedi?

I'm also looking forward to the new Star Wars/ Indy attractions/ lands...

Disney is realy expanding!