With DVD sales tanking in a world of streaming content, major film studios, including Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) Warner Bros. and The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) are picking up the pace of merchandising on everything from toys to home décor.

The move on the part of film companies comes at a time not only when DVD sales are in a quickening state of decline but also as box office revenue around the globe is slowing. With increasing profits the name of the game, consumers should expect to see more products tied to movies this year, reported The New York Times. The paper, citing data from Bloomberg, reported that in 2017 film companies will roll out 25 movies that have toys tied to them. That’s up from eight per year in the past.


A Sony Corp. (SNE) executive told the Times it will be “jumping headfirst into the space” when “The Emoji Movie” hits movie theater screens in July. Meanwhile, Warner Bros., under the charge of Pam Lifford, who became president of Warner Bros. consumer products in January 2016, has picked up the business of merchandising in a big way. Prior to Lifford’s appointment, the merchandising unit had no growth, but in 2016 profits increased 47% over 2015. Sales from licensed products hit $6.5 billion last year, marking an 8% rise. Lifford had spent 12 years at Disney Consumer products before leaving in 2012, noted the report. (See also: Netflix Could Earn up to $1B from Merchandising: Analyst.)

Disney as No. 1

With a slew of movies slated for the summer, consumers should expect to see a ton of merchandise from the likes of “Wonder Woman,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Cars 3,” “Transformers: The Last Knight” and “Despicable Me 3.” Meanwhile, “Justice League” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” toys and other products will hit store shelves in the fall. (See also: Hackers Demand Bitcoin Ransom for Stolen Disney Movie.)

While the other studios are playing catch-up when it comes to merchandising, Disney has been doing it for years now and it has paid off. The Times reported that during the past five years operating income at the consumer products and video game unit increased to $2 billion from $1 billion thanks to blockbuster hits like “Frozen.” More recently Disney has been rolling out products tied to the live-action remake of “Beauty and The Beast,” among other films. Disney currently holds the title of No. 1 licenser, not only with toys, home décor and apparel but also its massive theme parks around the globe. The theme parks brought the entertainment giant $56.6 billion in retail sales in 2016, noted the report.



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