Bombarded by 24 hour entertainment available in living rooms, automobiles, and even on smartphones, motion picture consumers are besieged by frenzied, media producers vying for the all-mighty dollar in an incredibly challenging, if not schizophrenic, marketplace. Although some independent studios are able to produce critically acclaimed works on shoestring budgets, such productions rarely capture the attention of the wider consumer-base or enable such studios to maintain anything more than a meager existence (Indie Film Studios: Can They Compete with Hollywood?). So competitive is the entertainment industry, that even once mighty conglomerates like Lucasfilm, LTD proved incapable of maintaining its ability to produce, necessitating the assistance of an even larger conglomerate, Disney. While Lucasfilm has produced some of the industry’s most treasured and profitable motion pictures, spawned leading edge production technologies, and revolutionized the movie making industry, only Disney represented the creative capacity, the marketing capability, and sufficient market dominance to ensure the continued viability of Lucasfilm’s vision (Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm Ltd, 2012).
Circumstances resulting in the Lucasfilm Acquisition
When the story broke, it hit Hollywood like an earthquake; how could Lucasfilm, the company behind classic trilogies like Star Wars and Indiana Jones; the pioneer of visual effects found in movies like the Perfect Storm, Forrest Gump, and Jurassic Park; and the creator of the THX theatrical certification process, a system for guaranteeing the highest possible picture and sound quality; relinquish its independence (Tyson, 2000)? While myriad contributing factors exist, the fact that Lucasfilm was 100% owned by its founder and chairman, George Lucas, guaranteed that at some point, the company would ultimately change hands; if not through sale, through bequeathment (Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm Ltd, 2012). By choosing to sell, the aging Lucas ensured his legacy, particularly that of the Star Wars universe he created, would not only be preserved, but further developed and done so in a manner in which he would still allow him a modicum creative control. Age and the desire to retire however, represented only a motivating factor, the decision to sell couldn’t be made without effective analysis potential buyers. Lucas’ observation of Disney’s handling of the earlier acquisitions of Marvel and more importantly, Pixar, a company previously owned by Lucasfilm, filled Lucas with confidence that the creative team he assembled around his franchise would be retained by Disney (Leonard, 2013).
Effects of the Disney Acquisition of Lucasfilm, LTD
Disney retaining the creative team Lucas assembled generated perhaps the most notable and immediate effect of this stunning acquisition, the announcement of a new Star Wars trilogy. In fact, prior to the sale, George Lucas hinted at beginning work on developing a new trilogy in a shrewd move to...