Darth Vader Is The Most Successful Star Wars Character Ever, But Still No Return Of The Jedi Residuals For Actor
from the these-are-not-the-profits-you're-looking-for dept
Wired has put together a very cool Milennium Falcon infographic illustrated by Michael Cerwonka, to show the breakdown of revenues generated by the Star Wars franchise over its entire history (thanks to Jacob for sending this in). By combining data and estimates, they clock the total in at a cool $33-billion (click for big version):
They also found out which character is (unsurprisingly) the most successful overall:
What we all want to know, of course, is which character is worth the most? On that, the privately held Lucasfilm is coy. “Darth Vader is one of the most popular Star Wars characters across most product categories,” a Lucasfilm spokes-Wookiee says. “Your instincts are correct.”
This is amusing, because as you may recall, last year we discussed the fact that the actor who portrayed Darth Vader has never been paid residuals for Return of the Jedi because Lucasfilm claims the movie still hasn’t turned a profit. One has to assume that, somewhere in that $33-billion figure, there are enough Return revenues to cover the $32.5-million it cost to make, even adjusting for inflation. But of course, that’s not how Hollywood accounting works.
I know some will say too bad and blame the actor for signing the contract, but it’s still impossible to accept the notion that the 15th highest-grossing film ever has never become profitable. That can only happen with crafty accounting, where the studios use various techniques to keep revenues just below costs on paper while still pulling in millions of dollars for themselves. Maybe it’s up to actors and other creative workers to demand better contract terms—or maybe it’s just another good reason for them to escape the Hollywood system.