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Hair, Makeup, Yoda: An Oscars-Night Tribute From The Wife Of Disney’s CEO

Make franchise blockbusters or do not make franchise blockbusters, there is no try. And Willow Bay, wife of Bob Iger, gave a fitting tribute last night to what really makes Hollywood tick.

1. Disney might be the world’s biggest entertainment company, but its only Oscar wins this year were for Big Hero 6 and Feast, two animated film awards.

Walt Disney Studios

 

2. But that didn’t stop Disney CEO Bob Iger and his wife, Willow Bay, from showing up to the industry’s biggest night.

Mark Ralston / Getty Images

3. Hang on a second. Let’s back things up.

Mark Ralston / Getty Images

4. Yes, an elderly Jedi master that is. Willow Bay, former model and TV reporter and current director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism, rocked Yoda at the Oscars.

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

5. While the entire Star Wars series has gotten plenty of Oscar love — 22 nominations, seven wins, and three special technical awards — big-budget franchise films tend to win more in box offices than in Best Picture or Best Directing Oscars.

Lucasfilm

6. Those kind of “tentpole” smash hits, which have become Disney’s bread and butter, were even mocked in the opening act of the Oscars ceremony, with Jack Black scorning studios “pitching tents for tentpoles and chasing Chinese bucks.”

Robyn Beck / Getty Images

Jack Black, on stage at the Oscars on Sunday night.

8. But the entire Star Wars franchise — the old movies, the rights to make new ones, the TV shows, video games — is worth far more than a few statues. Disney bought Lucasfilm, the home of Star Wars, in 2012 for $4 billion.

The Walt Disney Company / Via thewaltdisneycompany.com

9. Just for comparison, Lucasfilm’s $4.05 billion pricetag is just a bit less than the $4.5 billion market capitalization of the independent studio Lionsgate.

10. And now Disney is making a whole new Star Wars trilogy along with several stand-alone films. Episode VII is scheduled to be released later this year.

Lucasfilm

11. So despite the Academy success of Birdman, which was based on an original screenplay and is not part of widely beloved franchise or comic book series, it’s the franchises and sequels that dominate the business of Hollywood.

Box Office Mojo / Via boxofficemojo.com

12. And nobody knows the importance of franchises better than Bob Iger and Willow Bay. As far as Iger’s shareholders are concerned, the Force is strong with this one. Do or do not…

Mark Ralston / Getty Images

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Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.
Contact Matthew Zeitlin at matt.zeitlin@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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