Hollywood has repeatedly peddled the apocalyptic threat from aliens, machines, comets, viruses and zombies, but who was watching the vampires?
Never exactly absent from the entertainment scene, those eternal bloodsuckers lately have infiltrated everything from big screens and little screens to book-store shelves, clothing racks, download services, video games and video, record and jewellery stores.
These charming, deadly immortals are everywhere. And as a result, they're spilling as much green as red -- about $7 billion since the "Twilight" film franchise bowed less than two years ago, according to THR estimates.
Let's start with the current king. Globally, the three "Twilight" films, released in 2008, 2009 and 2010, have a $1.76 billion cume at the global box office. The first two each has grossed another $160 million or so in home video sales (the third hits Blu-ray/DVD in September). That's more than $2 billion right there.
With "Twilight" riding herd, vampire movies have accounted for an average of 3% of total boxoffice the past three years. So, for example, with "New Moon," "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans" and "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" totalling $356.7 million domestic in 2009, that amounted to 3.4% of the industry's $10.6 billion U.S. haul that year.