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The popularity of films has influence extending beyond their screen time. Here are five of the biggest hits that took film merchandise to the next level.

The most lucrative merchandise based on legendary films

From Avengers: Endgame to Toy Story 4 and The Lion King, movies continue to break box office records. Despite the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime, movie buffs are still flocking in droves to the theatero check out the latest blockbuster favourite on the big screen – there’s still nothing like it!

But the popularity of these films has an influence extending well beyond their screen time. Businesses have caught the film buzz too, leveraging the success of these films to target their fans with a variety of products, ultimately extending their franchise way beyond the initial release. 

Here are five of the biggest hits that took film franchising to the next level.

Harry Potter

It was way back in 2001 that fans of the Harry Potter books flooded theatres to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – the first adaptation from J.K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter books. 

Starring a young Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, The Sorcerer’s Stone was was a huge hit – and as we all know now, there was so much more to get excited about. Between its first release and the final instalment of the series in 2011, the Harry Potter films grossed more than $7.7 billion at global box offices, making it one of the most popular movie franchises of all time.

But while the films were a huge hit with fans of Harry Potter, his friends, and the magical world they inhabit, so too were the products and merchandise built around the films. At least 450 million of J.K. Rowling’s famous book series have been published worldwide, and toy sales related to the films, including action figures and costumes, have made an estimated $7.2 billion. 

In 2010, Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando even opened their own Harry Potter-themed area, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – and as a result saw attendance to the park rise by 20%. And of course, there’s Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross in London, where fans can take photos and visit the gift shop to purchase their very own wands, magnets, keychains, and stuffed animals. 

With a brand worth an estimated $15 billion, the Harry Potter film franchise has had lasting success and continues to attract new fans from all around the world. Fans can continue to expect many more products to come. 

Jurassic Park 

Everyone loves a great dinosaur film. Hence the widespread appeal of the Jurassic Park films, of which there are 5 – with more on the way. From video games to dinosaur toys, posters and clothing, Jurassic Park-related merchandise has been popular since the first film’s release in 1993. 

As the original child fanbase has grown up, so have the products. The Jurassic Park online slots game has proved to be incredibly popular within the casino industry. With the opportunity for online slots no-deposit bonus offers, fans can experience the classic film in a completely different way. 

Of course, there’s so much more for lovers of the Jurassic Park series. It’s been recently announced that the upcoming Jurassic World 3 includes some of the first film’s original cast, including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. And everyone from diehard fans to celebrities are getting excited for it. Reese Witherspoon even tweeted: “I love every Jurassic World movie but now THIS?!?” She then added: “Can I buy tix now?”

Toy Story

In 1995 Pixar Animation Studios produced a film that would come an instant classic. With some of the most beloved on-screen characters of all time — and famous actors including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen — the Toy Story films have continued to delight audiences over the years. 

Toy Story has managed to sustain its popularity for over 20 years. Toy Story 4, released in 2019, grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it the 30th highest-grossing film of all time.

The Toy Story franchise has always been great at marketing products and merchandise around the films. Disney had already sold 250,000 units of Toy Story toys before the release of the first movie, and the third film made over $10 billion in retail sales – demonstrating, as Disney’s CEO Bob Iger said, “that these wonderful characters are clearly just as relevant and beloved as ever.” 

We can hopefully expect even more. 

Transformers 

There’s no doubt that the Transformers franchise has been a big hit. From the first film in 2007, to spinoffs like Bumblebee, there are now six films in the franchise. The first three films alone made $2.6 billion in box office sales. 

Even 2016’s Bumblebee – the lowest-grossing movie in the franchise – reached $468 million worldwide. Between 90s nostalgia and a new generation of fans, Transformers is an incredible cinematic achievement from the people that made it. 

But the success of Transformers has gone well beyond the big screen. Its merchandising sales have reached an astonishing $2.6 billion. And with three locations including Orlando, Hollywood and Singapore, Universal Studios Transformers 3D ride sees more than 50,000 riders per day. 

Frozen 

Now a classic family favorite, Disney’s Frozen was released in 2013 and instantly became a hit – so much so that the musical fantasy is now one of the highest grossing animated movies of all time. Just a year after it was released, Frozen had already accumulated $1.219 billion at the box office. 

But the merchandise went even further. Frozen-inspired toys, clothing, makeup and homeware has reached an incredible $5.3 billion in sales around the world. 

Frozen-themed products featuring Elsa, Anna, and Olaf became so popular that retailers began to feel the strain of brand fatigue. In fact, there was such a serious shortage of limited edition Frozen dolls during 2013 that in the leadup to Christmas they were selling for thousands of dollars on eBay. With Frozen 2 in the works, it’s a sure guarantee that the fanfare — and release of new products — will only continue to rise.

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