What has helped make vampires so successful is not just the love affair between Edward and Bella, though that’s definitely part of it. Stephenie Meyer made vampires more romantic and less scary and made millions because of it. That started a trend that moved from books to films to television, selling music and merchandise along the way, and has paid off wonderfully for all of those involved. And the world just seems to be begging for more, more, more.
Don’t believe us? Click after the jump to see the breakdown of how much money vampires have made across these different media.
Just last weekend, “Vampires Suck” made $20 million at the box office. “The Twilight Saga” has cumulatively made more than $2 billion in a combination of movie theater and home video receipts. While other non-romantic vampire films (“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,” “Daybreakers”) haven’t done as well in theaters, the upcoming “Let Me In” and “Priest,” plus the two parts of “Breaking Dawn,” are sure to bring in a few billion over the next few years. Add that to the many vampire films in production (“The Historian,” “Vamps,” “The Passage” and a new “Underworld”) and you’ve got many more dollars to be made.
This one’s easy: “True Blood” and “Vampire Diaries.” “True Blood” is HBO’s biggest hit ever — surpassing even “The Sopranos” — and “Vampire Diaries,” though only coming into its second season, has the legs to carry it much farther. THR estimates that if they both complete five seasons on television, “True Blood” will make $50-$75 million and “Vampire Diaries” will make $100-$125 million, plus over $200 million combined from their home video sales so far.
The one who started it all is the indisputable vampire queen Anne Rice, who kick started the vampire novel craze back in 1976 (some quick stats: before she released “Interview with a Vampire,” only 1,000 vamp-themed novels were released ever, but since there have been over 41,000). Of course, the more recent heir to the throne is Stephenie Meyer, who has sold over 100 million copies of her “Twilight” novels. Add that to Charlaine Harris, L.J. Smith, P.C. and Kristin Cast, Alyson Noel and Richelle Mead and all the other vampire novel authors’ total sales, and you have a $1.6 billion industry. And, we can’t emphasize this enough, but there are only more coming.
The “Twilight” soundtracks are on the bestseller lists every time they are released (and sometimes before) and have sold about 5 million copies, which equals about $50 million. None of the other big franchises have jumped on this bandwagon, but we’re sure they will. And unfortunately we don’t count Vampire Weekend as a vampire-themed band.
“Twilight” alone has made over $500 million, and HBO’s new “True Blood” merch and Tru Blood drink are expected to do well also. Plus, with Halloween coming up, the sale of vampire-themed costumes is as high as $100 million. Then there’s the money made from all the porn parodies, which no one seems to want to calculate.
Still wondering why people love vampires so much all of the sudden? “Vampire Diaries” writer and exec producer Julie Plec said it best when she told THR, “By starting with one simple mythological creature that’s been part of our literary universe for centuries, you can create a story that has it all: romance, horror, action, special effects, sex, epic love, wish fulfillment, romantic leading men, delicious bad-boy villains, female badasses, damsels in distress, death, monsters and, ultimately, the perfectly flawed hero who would give it all up if it meant they wouldn’t have to spend eternity alone. It doesn’t get more universal than that.”
Does it surprise you that the vampire phenomenon is doing so well for Hollywood? Are you glad that vamps are here to stay?