Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Reaping money

This apparently is the week for lists (and, lord knows, we love lists even more than anniversaries). Today, Forbes magazine released a Halloween-appropriate tally of the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. The fourth annual list, of course, is topped by Elvis Presley, who still pulls in $40 million a year through Graceland admissions, licensing and merchandising.

The top three slots remained unchanged for the second year, with Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz right behind Elvis, with $35 million annually from licensed clothing, Hallmark cards and advertising for MetLife and Pepsi. No. 3 is the lord of the rings himself, J.R.R. Tolkien, whose works earned some $23 million this year. (Forbes notes that the author's estate gets a cut of film grosses and video sales, but probably doesn't receive any of the merchandising revenues.) Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel moved up a slot to No. 5, with $18 million.