The Big Bang Theory is expected to generate $50 million from the sale of retail merchandise this year, Variety reports. That amount could increase as Warner Bros. begins to roll out licensed products related to the show overseas.
$50 million in licensing revenue is considerable for a TV property, but it is even more notable for a sitcom. Many TV studios hold back on major product pushes unless they have a large, devoted fanbase like The Walking Dead or DC and Marvel properties.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products has signed deals with more than 70 licensing partners to produce Big Bang games, apparel, plush figures and accessories, and even home goods. These products are available at major retailers like Target, Walmart, and Kohl’s, and speciality shops like Hot Topic.
Karen McTier, executive vice president of domestic licensing and worldwide marketing for WBCP, said:
“The Big Bang Theory has entered a merchandising orbit that we rarely see for a live-action television show. A combination of such a successful hit series and an impassioned fan base allows us to develop a consumer products program, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time.”
Licensing partner Funko reported that it has sold more than 100,000 bobbleheads based on the show’s main character. A board game released last year sold out within months of its release, and Cardinal Industries released a follow-up “The Big Bang Theory Fact or Fiction Trivia Game: Fan Edition” this week.
Lisa Gregorian, chief marketing officer of Warner Bros. Television Group, said the company sees the licensed merchandise as a way to enable the show’s “fans numerous opportunities to engage with their favorite show.”
According to TV by the Numbers:
“The Big Bang Theory matched its largest ever and equaled its season-high adults 18-49 ratings … for Thursday, Nov. 8 … The Big Bang Theory swept its time period, finishing first in households (10.4/16), viewers (16.54m), adults 25-54 (6.8/17), adults 18-49 (5.0/15), and adults 18-34 (3.5/15).”
Are you surprised by The Big Bang Theory‘s success?