Jackson's Estate Reaped $1B After Tragic Death: Report

Estate hope for Elvis-like posthumous success

In the year since Michael Jackson died, his estate has pulled in more than $1 billion, mainly on the strength of a new record deal with Sony and a hugely successful concert film, according to a report.

Billboard magazine arrived at the figure by crunching numbers and interviewing industry experts. The result is the most profitable year by far for the late artist, who died last June at age 50 after getting a lethal dose of an emergency room-grade anesthetic he used to fight insomnia.

  • Some $429 million has flowed into Jacko's estate in the of music sales. About 9 million albums were bought in the U.S., while the Jackson 5 and the Jacksons have sold about 800,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Outside the States, Jackson's album sales for the past year stand at around 24 million units. Billboard estimates those figures generated about $383 million in sales. The rest came from digital downloads, including songs and ringtones, according to the industry magazine.
  • Some $392 million came from "Michael Jackson: This Is It," the movie made from footage from rehearsals for the London concerts that never happened. Sony Pictures bought the footage for $60 million, and the movie earned $72 million at the U.S. box office, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. Overseas, the film earned $188 million, including $56 million in Japan alone. DVD sales and rentals brought in nearly $100 million more.
  • An estimated $130 million poured in through Jackson's music publishing company, Mijac, which Billboard estimates is worth $150 million. At that value, it generates about $25 million per year in revenue, but that number likely doubled over the last year.
  • The Gloved One's estate made another $115 million or so off of revenues from his 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing and licensing and touring, including tickets sold for the London show and kept as souvenirs.

The people running Jacko's estate have an example to follow, according to John Branca, who serves as special administrator for the estate.

"To this day, there's interest in Elvis," he said. "And I think there will be enduring interest in Michael. It's our job to continue to expose Michael to new generations."

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