I just got back from a quick vacation in Orlando, Florida. While there, we went to Universal Studios, which recently added a whole new section to the park just for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter“. The following and attraction to get into just this area of the park was insane. There was a 60+ minute wait just to get into that sectioned off area off the park, then another 120+ minutes to get on the best ride in the Harry Potter area. In the end, it was well worth the wait, but even more importantly, it gave me the great idea to write this post.
The die hard cult following of many books (then to films), is quite amazing. First the books come out… then everyone goes crazy. Then the movies come out and things really start to explode… then the merchandising and everything else that can be thought of. Once the fans of these movies and other entertainment companies come together and form something like “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”, things really start to come to life.
Let’s take a look at five different movies series that have made an amazing amount of money in the theaters, but also have made a lot of other people and businesses rich in the process.
1.) Harry Potter Series (Box Office Gross: $6.3 Billion)
I was never big on the whole Harry Potter following, but I recently picked up the full series on Blu Ray and watched them all within a couple weeks. I also never read the books, but the films are great. As mentioned earlier, Universal Studios just brought the films to life with their “Wizarding World of Harry Potter”. The stores at Universal were packed non stop… everyone was buying everything in sight, from wizard wands, to tshirts, to memorabilia from the movie and even 1 million butterbeers have been sold since opening the attraction. This film series will easily top the $7 billion mark by the time the last movie is released.
2.) Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Box Office Gross: $3 Billion)
Long before the movie trilogy came out, the books were classics, but never had the following they had after the movie. The LOTR Trilogy also brought a huge boost of tourism to New Zealand. When I spoke at a conference in Australia last year, I also made the trip to New Zealand, where they have tours throughout the country which bring you to different locations where the movie was filmed.
3.) Star Wars Series (Box Office Gross: $4.6 Billion)
The Star Wars series stands out from the other names on this list, because George Lucas was the first in his era to create such a cult following and successful film series. After having a ton of success with his first three films, the growth of the film series just continued with his pre-queal series. Star Wars also has a good book following, which continually expands on the original story.
1.) Marvel Movies (Box Office Gross: $6 Billion)
There is virtually no limit to where Marvel can go with their future in making movies. The technology is here and they can make any super hero or villain come to life. Marvel has also been acquired by Disney, which gives them even more flexibility and movie making power. With the combination of Spiderman, Fantastic Four, XMen, Hulk and Iron Man, the Marvel movies series have brought in over 6 billion dollars.
5.) Twilight Series (Box Office Gross: $1.8 Billion)
While many of the movies on this list have $100 million plus budgets, the Twilight series surprised everyone as the film only had a $37 million dollar budget, then grossed over $392 million world wide. Another cult following originated from a book, which has made the stars of the films world wide celebrities. The last film in this series will be released in 2010… pushing movie totals over $2 billion dollars.
How you could have and still can, make money in the movie and entertainment niche.
There is really so much to cover here… from movie posters, action figures, memorabilia and more, all of these items can be pushed through affiliate programs. It’s also a great idea to create content sites based around the content. Go wide and build a site focusing on everything about the films, or stay small and focus on a specific movie or actor.
If building up a community or content site isn’t your cup of tea, you always have affiliate marketing and data management. I’m pretty sure ZIP/EMAIL submit campaigns have been created for nearly all of these films during their releases.
Just look up any of these movie titles and their search traffic on Google, and you will see a never ending supply of products being sold, people who want to see the movie for the first time, or even just to buy their original story lines on paperback. If you were to get in at the beginning of the Harry Potter craze, that was a good ten years you could have banked on the book and movie releases. Any other series and trilogies are good for at least three years. The hardest part is finding out what will be that next big winner!