Battle of the Franchises: Game of Thrones vs Star Wars 

What does Game of Thrones and Star Wars have in common? No, it’s not Julian Glover (who played Grand Maester Pycelle in Thrones and General Veers in The Empire Strikes Back) or Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth and Captain Phasma) – it’s actually that both franchises have been among the most successful in history.
Both span huge fictional universes, with hundreds of characters who pop in and out and essentially represent a battle between the status quo and the rebels. How else do these mega-franchises compare against one another?

Official Franchise Grossing Statistics

According to figures developed by, Star Wars has grossed an estimated $65 billion since its inception in 1977, while says that Game of Thrones has brought in a cool $5.81 billion. Thrones grossed around $900 million in book sales, although Star Wars came in slightly higher at $1.82 billion.
As expected, Thrones massively outweighs Star Wars when it comes to TV revenue, bringing in $4.5 billion for Star Wars’s $4.5 million. But in all other categories – from home media sales to box office to merchandise – Star Wars vastly outshines Game of Thrones. That’s understandable as it has been around for more than 40 years, while Game of Thrones’ mainstream popularity (since it became a TV show in 2010) hasn’t even hit a decade of existence.
Looking at the success of Game of Thrones in its 10 short years shows that it definitely has the legs to continue as long as Star Wars has been able to – we may well still see the world of Westeros continuing to be fleshed out.

Other Ways the Franchises Added Value

This doesn’t even take into account the tertiary value that both have gained from their stars – Harrison Ford, Kit Harrington and so on – appearing in other media or bringing in audiences who specifically enjoy watching Han Solo and Jon Snow.
Similarly, the value spin-offs have brought in is also hard to quantify – popular in their own right as well as acting as a driving force to maintain the popularity of the originals. Not only have both franchises given their names and likenesses to expected official merchandise, such as video games and action figures, they have also been handed over to unexpected avenues. Take the Game of Thrones slot game developed by Microgaming which can be found on and ties elements of the franchise into online slot gameplay. Or, the Star Wars Walker’s Crisps campaign, which used characters from The Phantom Menace to promote prize-winning opportunities.
Regardless of financial statistics, both franchises have given a lifeline to various forms of storytelling and engagement with franchises. Star Wars brought emotional connections to science-fiction and enabled many content creators to get involved with the ever-expanding world that George Lucas created. Game of Thrones has huge potential for future growth, as can be seen through the spin-offs that are in currently their early stages.
In the end, it’s tough to compare the two – the two genres may overlap somewhat but essentially do occupy different realms. And of course, they differ vastly in age, further complicating the comparison. But could all future popularity of all medieval magical fantasy or blockbuster TV events be attributed to Game of Thrones? And have science fiction’s many successes over the past 30 years come as a direct result of Star Wars’ fame? Given both franchises’ popularity, that’s not something we can rule out – and it will be fascinating to watch how each progresses in the near and long-term future.

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