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August 26, 2021

Twilight, vampires worth $7 billion to Hollywood

You can spend as much time as you want denouncing Twilight – and God knows I have – but you’re going to have concede one thing: man, do these movies make money.640280_dracula

Courtesy of MSN’s own James Havers, I happened to stumble across this news out of Hollywood Thursday, highlighting just what impact Twilight  and other vampire-related content is having on the film economy.

The results? Over the past two years, according to estimates from the Hollywood Reporter, vampires have contributed some $7 billion to show business. Seven b-i-l-l-i-o-n. That’s more than two-and-a-half Avatars. Or, for more emphasis, 371 Kazaams.

By the numbers in the Hollywood Reporter – which characterizes the bloodsucking trend as “an entire inexhaustible industry” – the vampire cash cow breaks down like this:

$7 billion total

$3 billion of which is from movies ($1.76 billion grossed by Twilight’s three films alone)
$1.6 billion from vampire books (Twilight  and The Passage, etc.)
$1.2 billion from DVDs and TV shows (like True Blood, that of five million weekly viewers)
$600 million from vampire merchandising (no, not like this)

Somewhere, you’d have to think, Bram Stoker is pissed. That’s big money, right?

What’s interesting to note is that the vampire trend has cashed in on several incarnations. For instance, before Robert Pattinson arrived (and the most overly-brooding celeb we knew was French Stewart) there was just the vampire books, which were only being read by an – albeit large – cult group.

Those books laid the groundwork for $600 million in literary revenue, which in turn fed the fuel for $3 billion in films, which in turn led to the remaining $1.8 billion from DVDs, TV shows, merchandise and the like.

But then came the latest chapter in this weird, absurdly profitable tale – even vampire mockeries can earn big. Vampires Suck, the Scary Movie-like parody flick that came out last Wednesday, managed to earn an applaudable $12.2 million in its weekend debut.

Going forward, there is still money to be made. Two highly-touted instalments of Breaking Dawn  – the final pieces of the Twilight  puzzle – are set to hit theatres in 2011 and 2012, marking an interesting play for investors.

Yes, you might recall that some financial trading firms could soon let their clients bet on the box office receipts of upcoming movies – kind of like a futures market for film revenues. In essence, pick a winner – the next made-for-$11,000 box office smash like Paranormal Activity, which grossed some $100 million – and you can win big. Bet on a flop, though, and better luck next time.

So will the vampire trend continue, then, and continue to be profitable? Either way, you can bet on it.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...