May 12, 1999
The Business Behind Episode 1:
The Phantom Menace
Unless you've been hanging out on some remote island for the past three months, you're probably acutely aware that on Wednesday, May 19th, the much-anticipated Star Wars prequel, Episode1: The Phantom Menace, will make its box office debut. Producer-director George Lucas and numerous Star Wars characters have graced the covers of magazines and reports can be found on TV, in newspapers, and online on a daily basis. The Phantom Menace phenomenon is in full "Force."
Lucas's privately held film company bankrolled the film entirely, but there are also many publicly traded businesses involved. Each paid big bucks in the hopes that this film will be a box office smash. In this feature, we look at three key industries involved with the film -- the entertainment industry, the toy industry, and the food and beverage industry.
The Entertainment Industry: Lucas may own it, but Fox as the sole distributor is hoping the film will fill its coffers. Theater owners have a lot to gain (or lose), too. Get the scoop on these industry players and others.
The Toy Industry: Lucas kept the movie-related toys closely guarded until May 3rd when they went on sale at 12:01 a.m. Who's making them and where can you find them? We've got the toy industry story.
The Food and Beverage Industry: PepsiCo and its two recent spin-offs have this one pretty much locked up. Find out how they're involved and what you'll find on your grocer's shelf and at your neighborhood Taco Bell.