Tim Kilby is Brand Director at Character World which designs and manufactures licensed character bedding and bedroom accessories. Here, he talks about the growing global appeal of movie licences.

The explosion of movie licences

Movie licences have been strong performers for years, but are particularly lucrative at the moment.

The movie industry has significantly upped its game over the past couple of years, with multimillion pound blockbusters regularly smashing box office figures and top titles earning over $1 billion at the global box office. The exciting storylines, stimulating visuals and inspiring characters capture imaginations all over the world and lend themselves perfectly to a whole host of merchandise.

This summer has seen a real injection of sci-fi and superhero movies, with the highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron performing well in cinemas all over the UK. The superhero trend is set to continue with the release of Marvel’s Ant-Man and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, later this year.

Iconic movie brands such as Star Wars have huge staying power due to the depth of the Star Wars universe appealing to new markets and audiences. The brand continues to evolve with each new movie whilst also retaining its heritage, which means the merchandising opportunities are endless as fans old and new demand great new merchandise.

The popularity of superhero brands shows no sign of slowing down as massive superhero films are set to be released into 2016, including Captain America: Civil War and Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

In what has to be one of the most anticipated films of 2016, for the first time Batman and Superman are to be brought together in one movie. This will bring phenomenal retail opportunities in 2016 and kick-start a four year movie slate featuring DC superheroes.

Superhero franchises have retained their appeal over the decades and they continue to appeal to a sense of adventure and escapism. Characters that have been around for decades, evoke a sense of nostalgia in parents who watch the films with their children. Combined with this, advances in technology have led to the creation of more believable characters, growing their appeal to a wider audience.

Disney Princess inspired movies have occupied the girls licensing arena in recent years. With this year’s release of Disney’s Cinderella movie and the Frozen sequel highly anticipated, the desire for Disney Princess merchandise has never been higher.

Disney Princess brands have always been hugely popular with young girls across the globe as they strive to collect every item of merchandise associated with the films. Girls tend to become fully immersed in the brands they support, living and breathing them and turning a success into a phenomenon.

With a raft of exciting movie releases planned into 2020, each attracting a fan base of dedicated followers, the opportunities for licensees like Character World are huge. With the recent growth and developments in the film industry coupled with the number of big budget productions, there is no doubt that the movie world is going to get even bigger and better, which in turn will result in massive opportunities for brands and licensees alike.

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