The unstoppable legacy of 'Peanuts' and how much it's made over 65 years

Good ol’ Charlie Brown is turning 65 this year, and his legacy is still going strong, with a new “Peanuts” film out this weekend.

Charles M. Schulz created the comic strip in 1950 and continued producing the daily strips until shortly before his death in February 2000. “Peanuts” was first published in only seven newspapers, but it quickly became a global phenomenon. The comic is now published in 2,600 countries and has more than 700 licensing agreements spread across the globe.

Charlie Brown’s bad luck and misadventures have been documented in animated series since 1965’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and today’s release of “The Peanuts Movie” marks the first such film in 35 years.

Charlie Brown and co. were owned by the E.W. Scripps Company’s United Feature Syndicate until the Iconix Brand Group purchased the brand for $US175 million in 2010. Throughout the years, “Peanuts'” annual revenue has ranged from $US80 million to upward of $US1 billion.

Here’s a look back at where the “Peanuts” legacy started and how far it’s come.

All adjusted rates calculated via the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

1950: The E.W. Scripps Company published 'Peanuts' for the first time.

United Feature Syndcate
The first published 'Peanuts' comic, October 2, 1950.

(Source)

1955: Kodak was the first company to use the 'Peanuts' characters in its marketing campaign, for a camera handbook.

CBS/screenshot
'You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown.'

(Source)

1965: 'A Charlie Brown Christmas,' the first 'Peanuts' TV special, aired.

ABC/screenshot
'A Charlie Brown Christmas'

2010: Iconix Brand Group purchased the 'Peanuts' brand, including licensing and rights, for $175 million from the E.W. Scripps Company and United Feature Syndicate. The company holds 80% ownership, while the Schulz family holds 20%. When it was sold, the brand was generating more than $2 billion in annual sales.

ABC/screenshot
'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving'

(Source)

2013: Following Iconix's purchase of 'Peanuts,' the brand went through a turnaround period and revenue sat at $80 million a year.

2015: 'The Peanuts Movie,' written by Brian and Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano, is being released 65 years after the comic strip debuted and 50 years after the successful 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' premiered.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.