Zombies have been in the eye of the American public ever since the 1932 Bela Lugosi horror movie White Zombie. And we've liked what we've seen. According to some serious calculations, it turns out that Americans have spent over $5 billion on zombies and zombie-related paraphernalia.
After hours of research, business analysts 24/7 Wall St have calculated "the zombie economy." It turns out there's more to it than you might consider.
"Think way beyond zombie movie ticket sales. Think about DVD sales, video games, comic books, novels, Halloween costumes, zombie walks, merchandise, conventions and even zombie art. Add to that all of the websites, homemade movies, Facebook sites, YouTube sites and other forms of 'digital' zombies, not to mention music. And if you think the financial tab has been high so far, by the end of 2012 the tab is going to be far larger."
24/7 Wall St. broke it down for us:
Movies: $2.5 billion
Movies include the Resident Evil series, 28 Days Later and Zombieland.
However, the analysts did not include Night of the Living Dead in their calculations:
"Amazingly, George Romero's 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead is royalty-free, and does not add much to the actual economics of the zombie genre."
Videogames: $2.5 billion
Videogames include Call of Duty, Doom and Plants vs. Zombies.
"Nazi zombies were responsible for many more expansion packs and raw Call of Duty sales."
Halloween Costumes: $500 million (over 4-year period)
"While we cannot find exact figures for zombie costumes, especially because of overlapping sales of rotting flesh, fake blood, makeup, and more, our sources estimate that 8% to 10% or higher of all costume sales are zombie-related."
Other sales include:
Comic Books, Magazines and TV: $50 million
These include The Walking Dead, Marvel Zombies and Fangoria.
Books and Novels: $100 million
These include World War Z, The Zombie Survival Guide and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Conventions, Events and Walks: $10 million
Merchandise: $50 million
Music: $10 million
Art: $10 million
For a fascinating look at the work that went into these calculations, we urge you to read the original analysis.