Fear not, young Jedi Padawans... the wait is almost over. George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy will be released on DVD next week. Well, it's not exactly the original trilogy, as the movies have been altered and "special-editioned" since they made their respective debuts so many years ago. (There may even be yet another take on the meeting between Han Solo and his Rodian nemesis in the scurrilous Cantina at Mos Eisley, or so I've heard.)
Then again, maybe the sales will stink like steaming Tauntaun guts oozing out of one of the creatures' freshly eviscerated abdomens (that's not going to happen, but I wanted to fit the phrase "Tauntaun guts" somewhere in this piece).
Even so, investors -- particularly new ones -- should be wary of picking up shares in the company based on the DVD. For one thing, Lucas is most likely taking the bulk of the profits. It's been reported that he may divert 90% or more of the spoils from the theatrical release of the new trilogy into his myriad bank accounts. One can only assume that he takes a lot out of the DVD revenue stream as well (he probably had a Hutt as an agent). Secondly -- and this is something that has been mentioned by Rick Munarriz in one of his recent commentaries -- there's a whole host of other factors that will affect Fox's bottom line, an example being the important broadcasting assets. A single successful video launch isn't going to guarantee share appreciation; yes, it can help drive earnings and buying sentiment, but once again, think before you leap. Look at Fox's business model, its stock's past performance (not so great in my opinion; it seems to be stuck in a range rut, although I might be a bit biased because I lost money on it several years ago), its growth prospects, etc. Check out recent news on the company, such as other high-profile video releases and earnings reports. Don't become mesmerized by the shiny lightsabers.
The Star Wars DVD will have some compelling extras, such as a lengthy documentary called Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy and promos for video games that will be released on Sony's
So, all you Wookiee fanatics, get ready to hit the local Best Buy
Fool contributor Steven Mallas thinks George Lucas should've made sequels instead of prequels. He also owns none of the companies mentioned here.