The Walking Dead

AMC Reportedly Wants The Walking Dead To Be As Big As Star Wars

The Walking Dead is now almost two decades old, with the black and white indie comic by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore spawning a transmedia empire of TV shows, films, video games, movies, board games, novels, theme park rides and all manner of merchandise. The brand is at the center of AMC's lineup, too, with the core television series set to air its eleventh and final season later this year.

The Walking Dead is now almost two decades old, with the black and white indie comic by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore spawning a transmedia empire of TV shows, films, video games, movies, board games, novels, theme park rides and all manner of merchandise. The brand is at the center of AMC’s lineup, too, with the core television series set to air its eleventh and final season later this year.

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But while this may be an ending, it’s looking like merely the end of a phase of the franchise before it moves on to bigger things. Much bigger things, as leaker Daniel Richtman is reporting that AMC wants The Walking Dead to become as big as Star Wars. This is a laudable goal, but the network has a long way to go before they get anywhere close to the might of a galaxy far, far away.

How much ground do they have to cover? Well, we can get a good idea from Wikipedia’s list of the highest-grossing media franchises in history. Pokémon is at number one with at least $100 billion in revenue, and rounding out the top 5 are Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse & Friends and, with an estimated $68.7 billion, Star Wars. So, where does The Walking Dead land?

Well, it isn’t on the list, with the lowest-grossing entry the Guitar Hero video games at $2 billion. This means that even with the most optimistic projections, The Walking Dead needs to generate 35x as much money as it does now in order to trouble Darth Vader. That seems unlikely, especially as the adult-orientated and incredibly violent action makes it impossible to market it to children.

But AMC is certainly seeking to grow the brand. Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead: World Beyond have further seasons to come, we’re getting new anthology series Tales of the Walking Dead, a rumored comedy outing, a show with an LGBTQ focus and a TV project exploring an as-yet-undefined villain. And then there’s the movie trilogy starring Andrew Lincoln, which is currently in production.

The Walking Dead‘s ambitions may be far-fetched, but at least AMC is reaching for the stars.


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David James
London-based writer of anything and everything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about 'Metal Gear Solid' or 'Resident Evil.'