The fascination with zombies has triggered TV shows, movies, and books. Many people are not sure what a zombie is. Merriam-Webster defines the term as a “will-less and speechless human (as in voodoo belief and in fictional stories) held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated.” The first great zombie movie is usually pegged as “The Night of The Living Dead” released in 1968. It has triggered several sequels. The most recent, “Night of the Living Dead II”, will be released next year.
Box Office Mojo looked at what it calls the “Zombie” genre. The most successful by far is “World War Z” released in 2013 by Paramount. It has a lifetime gross in the U.S. and Canada of $202,359,711. The worldwide ticket sales push the total to $540,455,876. The film took $190,000,000 to make. Box Office Mojo describes its plot as an attempt to “stop a zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatens to destroy humanity itself.”
“World War Z” has an advantage over most zombie movies–beyond its huge budget. It starred one of Hollywood’s most successful male stars–Brad Pitt in the lead role of the character Gerry Lane, a former United Nations employee. Pitt has been in 84 movies and won two Oscars. According to The Numbers, the box office ticket sales for his movies are already $5,080,289,600. “World War Z” has been so successful that it has been turned into a video game.
“World War Z” has had mixed reviews. Its Rotten Tomato score is 66 out of 100. MetaCritic gives it a score of 63%. And IMDb rates it a 7 out of 10. Movie critic Roger Ebert’s review is fairly typical among critics. Writing about director Marc Forster, he comments: “Forster deserves credit, I guess, for finding a way to make a PG-13 zombie movie without totally softening it.”
The reviews did not matter. Pitt and Forster were able to pad their already large bank accounts.
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