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Global Media Franchises by All-Time Revenue

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From Pikachu to Hello Kitty, some media franchises become so big that their iconic characters are recognizable to nearly everyone in the world. But how exactly do these mega media franchises make their money, and how do they compare in terms of all-time revenue?

This graphic visualizes and ranks the world’s largest media franchises by their all-time revenue, showing the main revenue sources for each media franchise using data from Fandom.

Japan’s Media Franchises Reign

With more than half of the media franchises in this graphic originating from Japan, the Asian country dominates when it comes to modern popular media franchises.

The country has produced some of the biggest media franchises which span across mediums, whether it’s video games with Pokémon and Mario, or comics, animated series, and toys with franchises like Dragon Ball and Transformers.

Media FranchiseTotal Estimated Revenue Merchandise Revenue Video Games Revenue Trading Cards Revenue Box Office Revenue Manga/Comics RevenueBook Sales RevenueHome Video RevenueOther Revenue


Hello Kitty$89.0B$88.5B—$0.02B—

Winnie the Pooh$76.0B$76.2B–$0.5B—-

Mickey Mouse & Friends$74.0B$73.4B–$0.5B$0.0005B—

Star Wars$70.0B$42.2B$6.0B-$10.3B-$1.8B$9.1B$0.3B


Disney Princess$46.0B$46.3B——-

Jump Comics (Shōnen Jump)$40.0B-$0.2B–$39.8B—


Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)$35.0B$12.5B–$22.6B$0.001B—

Harry Potter$32.0B$12.3B$1.6B-$9.9B-$7.7B-$1.1B




Dragon Ball$27.0B$7.7B$6.2B$1.0B$0.8B$9.2B-$2.1B$0.05B



*Barbie’s revenue does not include revenue from the 2023 movie Barbie.

Even Japanese media franchises which have had less international exposure and revenue, like Anpanman and Jump Comics, have netted tens of billions in revenue mostly from their domestic popularity.

Besides Japan, Disney is the other dominant force when it comes to global media franchises, with all of the 10 largest franchises either hailing from Japan or owned by Disney.

Disney’s Major Media Acquisitions

Over the past two decades, Disney has built up a significant catalog of major media franchises through two key multi-billion dollar acquisitions.

Disney’s acquisitions of Marvel Entertainment for $4.4 billion in 2009 and Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in 2012 added massive media franchises to their portfolio like Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Spider-Man.

While Sony bought the movie rights to Spider-Man for just $7 million from Marvel in 1999, Disney owns the rights to Spider-Man in all other forms, including merchandising, television, and comics.

Movies Make their Comeback for Media Franchises

This past decade has seen various popular media franchises take another stab at expanding into the medium of movies and TV shows, this time finding significant success.

Whether it’s animated movies like The Super Mario Bros. Movie or live-action adaptations like Barbie or Netflix’s series of Jump Comics properties like One Piece, these film forays have been successful in revenue terms and in expanding their franchise fanbases.

On top of this, companies like Nintendo are tapping into their franchises to expand beyond movies, with Mario now also the leading mascot for the Super Nintendo World theme park area which has locations at both Universal Studios Japan and Hollywood.

The post The World’s Top Media Franchises by All-Time Revenue appeared first on Visual Capitalist.


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