Note from Nick: We’ll be running content from our friends over at the International Academy of Film and Television in Los Angeles on CHUD, hopefully sharing some new voices and opinions and eventually creating a conduit from the Sewer there and back again. If you’re in Los Angeles and pondering films school, find them at



License Me

by Michael Chasin

Hollywood loves the holiday season.

Not only for ticket sales—but also for what can be sold, on shelves, via licensing.

Product licensing—in the form of games, apps, apparel, fragrances, and especially toys (a $22B industry) —continues to be a revenue window (among many windows) for films.

Some of the all-time top-licensed films (with their product sales) are:

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ($450M)
  • Toy Story ($2.4B)
  • Transformers ($3B)
  • Cars ($10B)
  • Star Wars ($12B)

In 2013, film and TV themed product sales reached $51B—with $2.6B going back to films and TV shows in licensing fees.

Disney’s animated Frozen has earned $1.2B in total box office, $252M in DVD sales, and $2.7B in music sales.

That popularity—also known as pre-existing brand appeal—is something manufacturers and retailers covet.

Not surprisingly, 2014’s hottest licensor is Frozen, with an expected $1B in Frozen related sales that includes costumes, toys, apparel, and even theme related food.

Clearly, there is significant found money—in product licensing.

So what is the best holiday gift a film can get?

A Screen Actors Guild award?

The Cannes Film Festival’s Palme D’Or?

An Academy Award?

Or perhaps, it really is—to be licensed.