Common wisdom says that when an artist dies, his work becomes more valuable. It has long been true in the world of fine art, and, for the last 20+ years it has been true for iconic musicians, actors and sports heroes.
Now comes word that Michael Jackson's estate has earned an estimated $756 million in the 12 months since his death.
The figure includes CD sales, box office and DVD returns for the documentary of his never-to-be-performed-live stage show "This Is It," and a pact with Sony that advances funds for future projects.
To put that number in context, according to Forbes list of "Top Earning Dead Celebrities" Yves Saint-Laurent made $350 million, Rogers & Hammerstein made $235 million and Elvis pocketed $55 million.
Amazingly, this monstrous number does not include sales of licensed merchandise. The latter "didn't make the cut because they can't be clearly defined," writes Jim Farber. "Rest assured, however, that in Jackson's case they're 'gynormous', especially since superstars commonly command between 70% and 90% of profits from merchandising."
Source: New York Daily News