ZombieLand was originally planned as a television series and ended up as a feature film and The Walking Dead it seems might make the transition to the big screen.
Rumours have been circulating for the better part of 8 months that The Walking Dead could potentially wrap up as a feature film and or make the transition from the small screen to the big screen. I have to admit I seriously question why on earth AMC would even consider doing this as much as I am always a fan of more zombies at the big screen
The Walking Dead succeeds because it is rooted in the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman and it does not focus on the action, the carnage or the end of the world. The Walking Dead is deeply focused on the exploration of the people who have survived, not those who have died or the explosive trauma that unfolded on Day Zero. Frankly its very similar to how George Romero made his films before the zombie genre got watered down to running zombies or epic CGI fests like Brad Pitt's World War Z
The Walking Dead requires a very drawn out story and in my humble opinion can not possibly succeed as a feature film because you cant cover enough pieces in 90 minutes to please fans of the show and those of us paying to see it on TV will revolt if we have to pay again to see the finale in theaters.
Not only is the story not condusive to a 90 minute movie but I question what AMC would benefit. I am less inclined to go and see the finale in theaters. A Walking Dead Movie would clearly be rated R which would limit its theatrical release and in turn the revenue potential. All more reasons to ask why bother?
I have no inside information on The Walking Dead revenues but lets do some quick math. An R-Rated Walking Dead Finale might do as well as the highly touted Evil Dead Remake which brought in roughly $60million as of a week ago.
According to Adage The Walking Dead Season 3 brought in $200,000 to $370,000 per 30 second commercial spot. So if we take that a step further and note that on average for an hour long show we have 21:51 seconds of commercials we can now show off my 4th grade math skills.
With 21 minutes of ads, that means 42 ads per show at lets split the difference and say $250,000 per ad and we get $10.6million per episode in ad revenue. If we look at 10.6million per episode in advertising revenue, multiply that out by 13 episodes you are potentially making more money then a movie like Evil Dead (2013) did theatrically and we are not including the video on demand or the DVD sales for Walking Dead
Add to the mix of commercials the people like myself who watch The Walking Dead with a video on demand subscriptions and the number balloons even more. Now as noted I am not an advertising expert and I have no clue what AMC actually makes per episode and all my numbers can be complete garbage as noted its just some 4th grade multiplication.
But even if the math is off by 50% I still have to question why AMC would want to do a movie when a long running series will rake them in more money in ten fold. We do know that AMC's revenue increased 16% in the fourth quarter to $157million thanks to The Walking Dead according to the Wall Street Journal so even if my 4th grade math is off its safe to say the show is making crazy revenues.
Why on earth would AMC do a theatrical run when doing a carefully budgeted TV show is working out so well? The Walking Dead can easily last till a 6th or 7th season and continue to make AMC and its investors filthy rich without the budget needs or problems a feature film brings.
Sound off in the comments and if you happen to work in advertising or TV or for AMC for that matter feel free to correct my math and educate us all.