The Matrix Reinvested

Brett Pulley in a Forbes magazine cover piece examines the Matrix franchise and says it has so far taken in $1.9 billion in gross revenue -- with the third film in the trilogy still to come.

Much like the films' blurred distinctions between reality and make-believe, the public has hazily viewed The Matrix Reloaded as a financial failure. Untrue. The worldwide box office for the movie has topped $742 million. The videogame "Enter the Matrix," which was produced using $20 million of the film's production budget, has sold 3.2 million copies at $50 each, for a gross total of $162 million.

Also, a selection of nine video shorts, The Animatrix, which explain background details of the complicated story, was released on DVD at the same time that the second film was released in theaters. It has sold 2.7 million copies at $25 each. The soundtrack to the film has sold 1.8 million copies, grossing $37 million.

Producer Joel Silver gets 7% of the merchandise sales and a big chunk of the box office. Says Silver: "This is like my IPO."

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