‘Star Wars’ Hits Netflix In Disney’s Push Towards Global ‘Star Wars’ Domination

In an attempt to spread Star Wars fandom in a region that knows little about the series during the months leading up to the next movie’s release, Disney is bringing Star Wars to the Latin American Netflix.

The films will not be made available on Netflix in America, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“In the U.S. and much of Europe, awareness of Star Wars is already high and there is a robust market to buy movies on discs and online. As a result, Disney isn’t as likely to make Star Wars films available on subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix in those regions soon.”

“Disney’s highest priority, however, is boosting awareness of the franchise ahead of the debut of ‘The Force Awakens’ in December in order to sell tickets and associated consumer products,” says the report.

Like the Wall Street Journal points out, Star Wars is well-known by pretty much all Americans by now, but awareness of the franchise is amazingly sparse in most other parts of the world. Disney has been attempting to tackle this problem head-on in the past few weeks by commissioning toy promotions and exclusive screenings in countries that are shown not to have much Star Wars exposure.

Several weeks ago, for example, Disney, which has owned the rights to Star Wars since 2012, announced that it would be holding a massive toy marketing campaign in which it will roll out new toys in events all around the world. Disney made sure that many of the events would take place in countries in need of more Star Wars attention, including Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Latin American nations.

Force Friday
South Koreans dressed in a Darth Vader and Stormtroopers face off with a Korean fan during the "Star Wars - Force Friday" toy promotion event in Myeongdong shopping district on September 4, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Another example is the streaming deal made a few days ago between Disney and Chinese digital media distributor Tencent. The Hollywood Reporter points out that the move was clearly an example of Disney’s “Star Wars Imperialism.”

“The deal is expected to give the Star Wars brand a huge boost of exposure in China – now the world’s second-largest film market – just as Disney begins rolling out its worldwide marketing campaigns for JJ Abram’s much anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December,” the report points out.

Disney’s recent moves show that they are more interested in making Star Wars a global phenomenon than were Lucasfilm, the franchise’s old right-holders. And according to Deadline, the go-to web resource for Hollywood economic information and predictions, Disney’s global marketing tactics are a good financial move. Deadline took into account many factors surrounding the production and promotion of Star Wars: Episode VIII and estimated that it will gross $615 million dollars during the global release’s opening weekend alone.

[Image via Chung Sun-Jun/Getty Images]