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Thread: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

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    Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Since Michael Jackson's death in late June i've heard he's already made 60 million dollars so it's likely he will surpass Elvis this year on the Forbes list on top earning dead celebrities.
    More importantly I guess Michael Jackson could end up taking Elvis place as the biggest earner among dead celebs on a permanent basis.
    Now to me this isn't such a big deal but for other fans it will be the reason I think he will is I remember when Kurt Cobain passed Elvis on the list a few years due to the sell of his song catalouge but Elvis was right back on top the next year well MJ was a much bigger star with a much bigger fanbase than Kobain.

    So what do you all think about Michael Jackson consistently replacing Elvis as the top dead celebrity earner this year and from now on?

    Do you think it's a strong possibility like me?

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    International Level Dino78's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Well Brian,
    in my mind Michael Jackson will take the first spot in this year for sure. That's natural. As you remembered Kurt Cobain. But in the long-term view I think Elvis will stay on top. Maybe next year Jackson could be the leader again but, as you know, Elvis' 75th birthday is coming along. Elvis' fanbase and his musical output is much bigger than Jackson's.
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    TCB Mafia jak's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    I dont think MJ will maintain the top spot on a regular basis.After the initial surge he will fade.I dont think he's as merchandise "friendly" as Elvis is.Who wants MJ salt and pepper shakers on the table when youre trying to eat?

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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by jak View Post
    I dont think MJ will maintain the top spot on a regular basis.After the initial surge he will fade.I dont think he's as merchandise "friendly" as Elvis is.Who wants MJ salt and pepper shakers on the table when youre trying to eat?

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    TCB Mafia May's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by jak View Post
    I dont think MJ will maintain the top spot on a regular basis.After the initial surge he will fade.I dont think he's as merchandise "friendly" as Elvis is.Who wants MJ salt and pepper shakers on the table when youre trying to eat?
    Very true.
    And I will never understand the whole Kurt Cobain beating Elvis issue. I mean, who was he?
    (A rhetorical question!!!)

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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    I dont think he's as merchandise "friendly" as Elvis is.Who wants MJ salt and pepper shakers on the table when youre trying to eat?
    That hit the nail on the head. I dont think many people want MJs face on many things but Elvis' face is perfect for everthing. I mean how many kids want MJs face on a lunchbox, but Elvis' face is different.

    Also because of the variety of things Elvis did in his life, theres more of a variety for merchandise. for example, images from blue hawaii are perfect for beach towels etc. MJ never did anything like that.

    I guess in a way you could say EPE has more potential to exploit Elvis, where was MJs management has very limited potential.

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    TCB Mafia kathy parkinson's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    For me personally, it's not about financial gain. I couldn't care less how much money either of them earns in the future, it's the music what counts and the person who's singing the songs and Elvis wins hands down on both accounts, no contest.

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    TCB Mafia midnight's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by May View Post
    Very true.
    And I will never understand the whole Kurt Cobain beating Elvis issue. I mean, who was he?
    (A rhetorical question!!!)
    I think the reason Kurt Cobain beat Elvis that year is because his estate was sold and that put his earnings over the top. This year I am sure MJ will beat Elvis but will he beat him 32 years from now? I don't think so!

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    TCB Mafia Teddy's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Yep, I think this year will obviously see a sharp rise in Jackson's posthumous earning power but I don't think his legacy is sustainable in the way that Elvis's is, for reasons which I've already raised on other MJ-related threads here.

    One of the main reasons is that there's just a lot less product to peddle in terms of recorded material. Elvis's catalogue of music and film is vast compared to Jackson's and any rumors you've heard about vaults full of Thriller-standard Jacko music have to be absolute nonsense. Sure, there will probably be some decent unfinished tracks which are no-doubt being hastily shopped around marketable collaborators for remixing as I write, but if they were in such great supply and presentable form, then rest assured you would have heard them already- Sony do actually want to make back some of the fortune they spent on the guy in recent years and they haven't been waiting for him to die to do it, all cynicism aside.

    Also, Elvis's ability to crossover markets is greater than Jackson's. As an interpretive singer, Elvis took pride in his adaptability of style and breadth of range as he tackled material from a huge variety of sources throughout his career. By contrast the adult Jackson was a relative one-trick-pony, albeit an instantly-recognizable and brilliant trick, depending upon how much you appreciate breathy squeaks and ubiquitous "hee-heeee"s. This might not seem that important, but when you consider the manner in which expired vocalists' performances are sold and consumed in recent years, often alongside a current artist in a completely different audio environment than the original recording, then Elvis' flexibility becomes an attractive asset. I'm not saying that posthumous collaborations aren't available to Michael, only that they're just as limited as his back-catalogue.

    Speaking of which, most people who weren't massive fans, but still liked Michael enough to not be put off by the child-molestation allegations, bought his 2003 'Number Ones' package at the time, and the ones who didn't acquired the content shortly after discovering he was dead, so that's a massive potential market who've already shot-their-bolt as far as his sales of existing music is concerned for quite a while. Of course music can be 'sold' in different ways- we'll get around to that later.

    As for the child-molestation itself, while he was never actually convicted of such a thing, and the majority 'on the fence' about his alleged guilt have adopted a selective amnesia for the purpose of his mourning, I suspect that this is a temporary atmosphere of clemency. Now that the funereal circus is over, there is already a kind of stunned apathy emerging which is likely to give way to the same old misgivings about his suspected guilt. Except worse, because people are beginning to feel guilty themselves for eulogizing him. That really doesn't bode well for long-term marketability. You only have to talk to the man in the street.
    This unfortunate association originally kept product endorsements at bay and Jackson almost completely off the radio for years, so in the obvious absence of any forthcoming live appearances, and most domestic music consumers already in possession of any tracks which they were ever likely to buy, the salability of his music is greatly compromised, despite any residual acceptance while he isn't presenting any immediate threat to children(!)

    Remember, from a 'profile' perspective, Michael's alleged child-abuse has been more relevant than his music since 1993. That's almost the duration of the entire second half of his solo career.

    If Graceland relied exclusively upon hardcore Elvis fans to make up it's attendance figures it probably would have closed years ago. It remains one of the most successful tourist attractions of all time because there's something about Elvis which appeals even to those who aren't yet fully initiated. At the very least, even non-fans can say they've visited the famous home of the world's original pioneer of popular music. Compare this to the Jacko connotations which almost prohibit his music from a significant proportion of the people who actually like it. Who wants to say they visited 'the infamous suspected crime-scene of the world's highest-profile alleged pedophile'? I really don't see Neverland replicating Graceland's enduring success, since even a faction of his most stalwart fans consider it his nemesis.

    Plans for releasing footage of the This Is It rehearsals have a limited shelf-life of profitability, since the sequences were not intended for public consumption and therefore deliberately 'underperformed' to conserve what remained of Jackson's energy for the actual shows. After the initial morbid curiosity has been satisfied, there is unlikely to be a lucrative long-term appeal to the content. We're not talking about the Comeback Special or Aloha here. It's going to be hard enough to package it, never mind re-package it!

    For what it's worth, I thought Michael Jackson was an amazing artist and I always had serious doubts about his guilt, but the question here is about his posthumous earning potential, and this is what we have to work with. Especially while he doesn't own the exclusive rights on sales of sequined gloves and fedora hats.
    Last edited by Teddy; 08-18-2009 at 05:57 AM.
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    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Elvis will remain to be the most earning dead artist forever (besides this year). I don't count the money that MJ earns (or does not earn) on the Beatles musicrights. That's not really his earning as an artist, but as an investor.

    Elvis' catalogues can cater so much more people: from old to young, from christians to non believers, to bee-boppers to people liking the big Las Vegas ballads, Elvis has it all (besides dance/disco). Elvis' image is also much easier to exploit than Michael's for merchandise.

    And Elvis 'has' Graceland, while MJ doesn't even own Neverland. If the Jackson want to loan his body to the new owners of Neverland to create a sort of Graceland (as they want), than those profits will be lower than those of Graceland. Neverland really is in the middle of nowhereland with little to none facilities for the people who go there.

    He won't even surpass Elvis' sales: he has way to few albums released to battle with Elvis. You can find hundreds and hundreds of different ELvis cd's and LP's from low to highbudget, from exclusive compilations to millionselling original albums.

    If you multiply the number of sold Thriller albums times the amount of albums released by Michael Jackson, you still have a smaller number of sales than what Michael Jacksons management (and record company) claim. That rumoured number is living it's own life (just as the 'billion people around the world watching the Aloha' claim).
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    All I can say is Teddy! Excellent post.

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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by midnight View Post
    All I can say is Teddy! Excellent post.
    Ditto!!!!

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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    I personally dont think MJ will EVER reach the scale that Elvis has.....
    and from what I see here in the UK...MJ has already been forgotten....
    The Passing of our Dearly loved Friend Rosanne.has created a bigger outpouring of grief and loss than MJ...and quite rightly so...in a short while MJ will be a hasbeen...But Rosanne will ALWAYS be remembered..just Like Our ELVIS....2 very special Unique people.who we MISS Dearly.
    Rosanne 4/27/59-7/22/09 Rest in Peace


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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by malc07 View Post
    I personally dont think MJ will EVER reach the scale that Elvis has.....
    and from what I see here in the UK...MJ has already been forgotten....
    The Passing of our Dearly loved Friend Rosanne.has created a bigger outpouring of grief and loss than MJ...and quite rightly so...in a short while MJ will be a hasbeen...But Rosanne will ALWAYS be remembered..just Like Our ELVIS....2 very special Unique people.who we MISS Dearly.



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    TCB Mafia midnight's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    So true Sonny. All ages can relate to and enjoy Elvis' music. There is something for everyone. Kids in my Kindergarten class love his songs such as "Teddy Bear" and my 86 year old grandmother loves his gospel. Michael Jackson do not have the variety of music that can be enjoyed by so many different types of people. I often visit some "Personal Care " homes for the elderly and many times I can hear Elvis' gospel music playing in the background. I have yet to hear "Beat It" or "Thriller".

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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by malc07 View Post
    I personally dont think MJ will EVER reach the scale that Elvis has.....
    and from what I see here in the UK...MJ has already been forgotten....
    The Passing of our Dearly loved Friend Rosanne.has created a bigger outpouring of grief and loss than MJ...and quite rightly so...in a short while MJ will be a hasbeen...But Rosanne will ALWAYS be remembered..just Like Our ELVIS....2 very special Unique people.who we MISS Dearly.
    You said it Malc!!!

    Who could you sit and listen to on a radio show for 5 hours without getting a headache? Only Elvis and of course Malc!

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    International Level malc07's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    KIM.Thankyou
    Rosanne 4/27/59-7/22/09 Rest in Peace


    http://malc07.tripod.com

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    TCB Mafia Teddy's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by malc07 View Post
    The Passing of our Dearly loved Friend Rosanne.has created a bigger outpouring of grief and loss than MJ...and quite rightly so...

    I think most regulars at this forum would agree that Carradine, Fawcett and Jackson were just a warm up for the main event of the summer, in grieving terms.
    With Elvis already gone, there was nowhere else to go for the headliner.
    'Taking Care of Beaulieu'.

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    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by jak View Post
    I dont think MJ will maintain the top spot on a regular basis.After the initial surge he will fade.I dont think he's as merchandise "friendly" as Elvis is.Who wants MJ salt and pepper shakers on the table when youre trying to eat?
    You're sense of humor is always great but this was really really good!

    Diane

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    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    Re: Do you think Michael Jackson will surpass Elvis as the top earning dead celeb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert View Post
    Elvis will remain to be the most earning dead artist forever (besides this year). I don't count the money that MJ earns (or does not earn) on the Beatles musicrights. That's not really his earning as an artist, but as an investor.

    Elvis' catalogues can cater so much more people: from old to young, from christians to non believers, to bee-boppers to people liking the big Las Vegas ballads, Elvis has it all (besides dance/disco). Elvis' image is also much easier to exploit than Michael's for merchandise.

    And Elvis 'has' Graceland, while MJ doesn't even own Neverland. If the Jackson want to loan his body to the new owners of Neverland to create a sort of Graceland (as they want), than those profits will be lower than those of Graceland. Neverland really is in the middle of nowhereland with little to none facilities for the people who go there.

    He won't even surpass Elvis' sales: he has way to few albums released to battle with Elvis. You can find hundreds and hundreds of different ELvis cd's and LP's from low to highbudget, from exclusive compilations to millionselling original albums.

    If you multiply the number of sold Thriller albums times the amount of albums released by Michael Jackson, you still have a smaller number of sales than what Michael Jacksons management (and record company) claim. That rumoured number is living it's own life (just as the 'billion people around the world watching the Aloha' claim).
    I totally agree.

    Diane

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