The Force has officially been harnessed by Turner Entertainment after the production company struck a nine-figure deal with Disney for the cable rights to 10 Star Wars films.
The previous five Star Wars films and the next five films in the franchise are included in the Turner deal. The only film not included in the deal is the 1977 Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope or the first film that started the popular franchise. The Turner deal has given networks like TNT and TBS the rights to air the films has been in the works for nearly a year.
The value for the deal was estimated around 250 billion dollars by the industry and is meant to last until 2022. The global blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned over 2 billion dollars in the box office and is expected to have a licensing fee around 35 million-40 million dollars. The next three films are expected to range around the same price to license since the films are expected to make similar box office earnings.
Turner declined to comment on the exact number they purchased to get the licenses for the majority of the film franchise rights from Disney.
Warner Brothers productions have also made a similar deal film deal with NBC Universal. The Harry Potter film franchise and the new Fantastic Beast films licenses to air on channels like NBC. The deal for the entire Fantastic Beasts film collection was valued over 250 million dollars. NBC Universal was rumored to have the highest incentive to purchase the Harry Potter rights due to their highly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction with Universal theme parks.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the first film in the next Star Wars trilogy that will continue with Episode VIII in 2017 and Episode IX in 2019. The next two stand-alone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the young Han Solo film, are also included in the Turner deal. The two stand-alone Star Wars films are expected to release this coming December and possibly in 2018.
Rogue One will be available to air on cable networks affiliated with Turner in 2019. The deal will let the new Star Wars films to be available to air on the company’s affiliated networks after a year the film is released in theaters. The five older Star Wars films will be airing on TNT on September 20th, which will continue on for six consecutive nights afterward.
Even though Star Wars: Episode IV film license belongs to Fox, Turner Entertainment is in the process to becoming a conglomerate production giant if they continue to gather up the rights to the top film franchises available to purchase in the industry.