Value: $35 million
Despite being canceled, the 50-show This Is It tour at London's O2 paid big dividends. Revenue from tickets retained by fans as souvenirs and not refunded brought in an estimated $6.5 million, and Bravado's This Is It concert merchandise brought in $5 million, both less AEG's share.
An AEG-produced Jackson memorabilia exhibit is showing in Japan and has brought in another estimated $3.5 million to the estate. Plans call for the exhibit to head to China.
Last August, Bravado followed its AEG/This Is It merch deal with a new pact with the Jackson estate that included a $10 million advance, sources say.
Based on conversations with insiders, Billboard estimates licensing royalties and retail sales accounted for another $10 million in revenue to the Jackson estate. Actual retail sales were far greater.
This week, gaming company Ubisoft announced it will release a dance-oriented Jackson videogame in time for the holiday season. Licensing fees weren't disclosed.
Finally, sources say there wasn't any advance on royalties and no guarantees paid for the estate's two-pronged deal with Cirque du Soleil for a tour and a Las Vegas residency, a deal structure in line with past Cirque tributes to the Beatles and Elvis Presley. After startup costs are shared by the estate and Cirque, revenue will come from box-office receipts and other ancillaries associated with the projects.
The financial tragedy here is what might have been. Billboard reported before Jackson's death that the O2 shows would gross up to $100 million and merch possibly another $15 million. Beyond that, AEG had a 36-month global touring plan in place with Jackson had the run successfully been completed.