Disney renews contract for Lucasfilm chief

LOS ANGELES • Walt Disney signed Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to a new three-year contract, showing the company still has confidence in her despite a disappointing box office for the most recent film in the Star Wars franchise.

Ms Kennedy, the long-time producer behind films such as Back To The Future (1985) and Jurassic Park (1993), joined San Francisco-based Lucasfilm before Disney's 2012 purchase of the company.

Since then, she has rebooted the Star Wars franchise, releasing four films, with more in the works.

After a big start with 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens taking in more than US$2 billion in worldwide ticket sales, the franchise hit some turbulence.

Last year's Star Wars: The Last Jedi was viewed as disappointing by some diehard fans and Solo: A Star Wars Story, released just six months later in May, was an outright dud, grossing US$392.8 million (S$536 million) worldwide, the lowest in the saga's four-decade history.

The franchise remains a critical one for Disney, with two new theme-park attractions due to open next year along with another instalment in the series.

Disney is also producing a Star Wars TV show for its new streaming service, also scheduled to launch next year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 01, 2018, with the headline 'Disney renews contract for Lucasfilm chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe