Analyst predicts $1.2 billion box office for Star Wars Episode 7
Cash money... $1.2 billion predicted for Star Wars sequel (Copyright: Lucasfilm)
Not a millimetre of film has been shot, there are no stars attached, and there's not even a finished script - we don't think - but that's not stopping Hollywood's money men counting the 'Star Wars' takings already.
Credit Suisse analyst Michael Senno, it appears, can look into the future.
He told Variety that the first film of the new 'Star Wars' trilogy, due out in the summer of 2015, should generate profits of $733 million (£492 million) for Disney.
In all, he's predicting that it will make a solid – if not record breaking - $1.2 billion (£806 million) for the Mouse House in cinema tickets and more still in merchandising and other commercial deals.
The reason such predictions are being made is down to Disney's share price, which despite the hammering it should have taken from the losses of 'The Lone Ranger', managed to see a slight rise this week thanks to 'Star Wars'-based confidence in the company.
“The 'Star Wars' franchise should drive strong profit growth and mitigate risk at the studio with fewer risky high budget films,” said Senno.
Some had set the loss from 'The Lone Ranger' to be $150 million or even $190 million for Disney thanks to the failed Johnny Depp vehicle, but Senno predicted a slightly more modest $100 million loss.
So instead of Disney's share price falling, it actually rose by 1.3%, thanks also to good business done by both 'Iron Man 3' ($1.2 billion so far worldwide) and 'Monster's University' (currently at $401 million).
The company had to accept a loss of $200 million in 2011, after its massively expensive 'John Carter' flopped.