In these volatile times, when our economy is barely scraping by on whatever minor revenue streams it can scrape together, one business can be said to be truly thriving: drug dealing. And maybe Cash 4 Gold. But also, zombies, as 24/7 Wall Street estimates that the “zombie genre economy”—the net worth of all the movies, TV shows, video games, costumes, and other zombie-related ephemera out there—is worth as much as $5.74 billion, an estimate that they put well on the conservative side. It's basically the second-most profitable staggering dead thing, next to the U.S. auto industry.
Of course, this is one of those fluffy Halloween trend pieces built on questionable and arbitrarily chosen data, i.e. tallying up the total box-office takes of films ranging from the Resident Evil franchise to I Am Legend, factoring everything from college lectures about zombies to “zombie pub crawls” and haunted houses as a catchall $10 million take for “zombie-related activity,” and even attempting to put a value on zombie-themed websites. Perhaps most dubious, it even tries calculating the profits made from “zombie music,” in which the article’s author lumps in random selections like “Thriller” and Iron Maiden’s “Eddie The Head” without sounding all too sure of whether any of it really counts—though he sticks another $10 million on it anyway, just to be safe. Still, stopping to consider how much the nation actually spends on zombie stuff does reveal that, in times of such great anxiety, there’s little Americans enjoy more than spending their money on escaping to a fantasy world where all our friends and family are undead monsters trying to kill us. Perhaps Greece should look into it.