AMC Networks Inc (AMCX): “World War Z” Is a Winner, but Vampires Still Slay Zombies

The Walking Dead may be chomping on The Vampire Diaries when it comes to TV ratings, but, at the movies, rotting corpses are usually no match for the bloodsuckers, or even werewolves. Can Brad Pitt’s surprise hit World War Z, based on the popular book by Max Brooks, change all that? So far, the dead are putting up some pretty live numbers.

The zombie thriller raced to a $66.4 million opening weekend in the U.S. and has since added $22 million in domestic receipt,s and $45.8 million in international ticket sales heading into this weekend’s showings, according to data supplied by Box Office Mojo.

Zombies on a plane! Sources: Paramount Pictures, YouTube.

No doubt the film’s producers are relieved. World War Z‘s $190 million budget and well-known production snafus had some worrying that the film would be a John Carter-sized disaster for Viacom’s Paramount Pictures. Instead, the studio is apparently already in talks about a sequel.

Did I mention the rotting part?
But again, The Walking Dead is an exception. The breakout zombie hit for AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX) enters its fourth season in October as the top-rated scripted show of the 2012-2013 fall season, and that’s in spite of an uncommonly tight budget for a drama dependent on brilliant makeup and visual effects artists.

SOURCE: Frank Ockenfels/AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX).

World War Z isn’t exactly in Walking Dead territory. But, as you can see from the data compiled by Box Office Mojo, it’s rare for a zombie flick to attract any kind of a wide audience. So rare, in fact, that World War Z is already tops in the genre — presuming you discount Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)‘s animated monster mashup, Hotel Transylvania:

Metrics Vampires Werewolves Zombies The Mummy
Total U.S. box office $2.91 billion $1.73 billion $1.14 billion $550.9 million
No. of films in franchise 71 26 52 4
Per-film average $40.97 million $66.41 million $22.01 million $137.74 million
Top film in franchise** (box office) The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

($300.5 million)

Wolf

($65.0 million)

World War Z

($88.3 million)

The Mummy Returns

($202.0 million)

Source: Box Office Mojo.
** Where the monster in question is somehow attached to the lead character.

Credit: AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX)

Remember: go for the head
Each big box office makes it more likely we’ll see more monsters at the theater. In the meantime, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)‘s Marvel Studios has taken pains to reclaim the film rights to darker characters such as the vampire-hunting Blade, and the demon-possessed Ghost Rider. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), for its part, has ordered a second season of its original horror hit, Hemlock Grove.

And why not? Judging by the numbers, the dead are alive and well. Invest accordingly.

The article “World War Z” Is a Winner, but Vampires Still Slay Zombies originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Tim Beyers.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Netflix at the time of publication. He was also long Jan. 2014 $50 Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) call options. Check out Tim’s web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX), Netflix, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

10 Self-Made Billionaires Who Came From Nothing

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in North America

The 13 Most Expensive Headphones in the World to Represent

The Top 20 Wealthiest Soccer Teams in 2014

4 BuzzWorthy Cannabis Stocks And Some Smoking Derivative Plays

The 10 Healthiest Fast Food Chains in America to Dine At

The 5 Most Expensive Cat Food Brands You Can Spoil Your Kitty With

The 6 Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

The 10 Worst Mistakes an Entrepreneur Can Make

The 5 Most OP Characters in League of Legends to Carry Games and Crush Foes With

The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before Running that Will Help You Pound the Pavement

10 Glaring Plot Holes in The Walking Dead that a Zombie-Filled Bus Could Drive Through

The 5 Biggest Celebrity Stoners Who Love Their Reefer

The 10 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time by Out-of-Touch Critics

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

How to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

10 Best Places to Visit in Central and South America

The 10 Greatest Empires in History Which Nearly Conquered the World

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools In America 2015

5 Clear Reasons LoL is Better than DotA, Continues to Rule MOBAs

The Only 9 Teams with a Chance to Win the Super Bowl

The 15 Most Common Phobias in America that Induce Fits of Panic

Top 6 Least Expensive Tourist Destinations in 2014

Jim Goetz, Peter Fenton, Jim Breyer: Top 6 Venture Investors for 2014

Top 15 Billionaires in 2014

5 Pitfalls To Avoid When Buying a Franchise

Top 20 Medical Schools in the US – 2014 Rankings

4 Business Strategies that Turned Jamie Oliver into the World’s Richest Chef

6 Qualities That Make You A Good Team Player

10 High Paying Seasonal Jobs in America this Holiday Season

The 10 Busiest Shipping Lanes in the World

5 Most Valuable Brands in China

The 10 States with Highest Substance Abuse Rates Crippling Their Populace

The Top 10 Things to Do Before You Die That Will Echo for Eternity

The 10 Best Selling Items on Etsy

Top 10 Things to Do in Tokyo, the Greatest City in the World

10 Mistakes on Social Media that Can Harm You and Will Probably Get You Canned

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!