Licensing Reports Soaring Sales as Expo Opens

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Sales of licensed merchandise from animation and VFX-based properties are on the rise and earning big bucks for the companies that own them.

With the Licensing Expo now under way in Las Vegas, Disney is reporting that it earned a record $41 billion in global retail sales in 2013 largely due to merchandise based on its Marvel, Disney Princess, Pixar and Star Wars brands. That’s up from $28 billion in 2010.

LIMA, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, reports that in the United States and Canada there was a total $116 billion in retail sales generating an estimated $5.6 billion in royalty revenues. Of those numbers, character-related merchandise accounted for $2.7 billion in revenues and an estimated $51 billion in sales.

Animation properties continue to grow in licensing appeal, as indicated by the show’s opening keynote address, delivered by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The Licensing Expo runs through Thursday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg delivers the keynote address at the 2014 Licensing Expo

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg delivers the keynote address at the 2014 Licensing Expo