Normally I look at new music releases but this week is kind of special for Star Wars nerds.
Most artists have confidence in their abilities but when it comes time to negotiating, the artist usually goes for the big advance (just look to Bruce Springsteen’s Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) “the record company Rosie just gave me a big advance!”. We all know now that the advance is just loan making it very hard for the artist to see their deserved rewards.
There was one artist however that negotiated a risky move but is still reaping rewards to this day and forever changed the entertainment industry. That artist is George Lucas.
He earned $150,000 for directing American Graffiti. Thanks to the success of American Graffiti, Lucas was entitled to a salary of $500,000 for directing his next film called “Star Wars”.
Instead of accepting the nearly 300% pay raise, George went to the movie studio 20th Century Fox with a proposition.
He offered to keep his salary at $150,000 in exchange for two seemingly insignificant requests:
1) That he retain all merchandising rights
2) That he would retain the rights to any sequels.
We all know about the success of #2 but it was his ability to negotiate merchandising away from 20th Century Fox that has reaped insane rewards
Between 1977 and 1978, Star Wars sold $100 million worth of toys. 35+ years later and Star Wars themed toys have generated over $12 billion worth of revenue. Today, Star Wars licensed toys produce $3 billion a year in revenues.
I mention all this because September 4, 2015 is Force Friday. This is essentially the Black Friday for Star Wars fans. All new merchandising for the new film went on sale at midnight.
So if you’re negotiated a deal, to quote another Springsteen song “Show a little faith” and you might hit the jackpot.