Michael Jackson’s hologram performing his top songs at major events like the Billboard Music Awards in 2014 is brought to fans by Pulse Evolution. Interestingly, this holography company is still turning a profit in 2018 after being sued in 2016.
According to Business Insider, Pulse Evolution became famous for Michael Jackson holography and bringing other celebrities back to life such as Tupac Shakur and Elvis Presley.
However, Pulse Evolution has been showing less than favorable profits until recently, but the causes are not linked to the popularity of the Michael Jackson hologram.
Instead, it is likely Pulse Evolution has not been as profitable in the recent past due to lawsuits. For example, a lack of profits paid out to shareholders in 2016 could be related to a lawsuit against Pulse Evolution by Uwe Maass.
While there was never an official verdict, Pulse Evolution fought a lengthy legal battle with Uwe Maass over patents used in all of their holograms, including Michael Jackson and other celebrities.
According to Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit was finally settled in 2016, but Pulse Evolution did not report the amount they paid to continue using Michael Jackson’s hologram legally.
Thankfully for Pulse Evolution, Michael Jackson’s holography post-mortem life has continued to be extremely popular. According to Forbes, in 2012, three years after Michael Jackson died, his “Immortal World Tour” with Cirque du Soleil earned $160 million in its first leg.
Following the 2012 tour, Michael Jackson appeared as a hologram for another Cirque du Soleil performance in Las Vegas called One.
According to the Cirque du Soleil website, talks with the Michael Jackson estate to create a show based on MJ began soon after his death, but the original press releases did not specify holography.
Since the debut of Pulse Evolution’s holography for Michael Jackson in 2012, Cirque du Soleil has allegedly made at least $100 million from the One and Immortal performances, according to The Richest.
Despite the success of Michael Jackson holography, other celebrities have specifically asked not to be made into a hologram after they die. For example, Sheila E, a close friend and former band member of Prince, tweeted the following.
“Prince told me don’t ever let anyone do a hologram of me. Not cool if this happens!”
While Michael Jackson fans clearly love his performances in hologram form, the profits his estate have earned from holography are an ongoing subject in his tax trial.
Specifically, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, the IRS has been attempting to sue Michael Jackson’s estate for making a profit off of his previously untaxed “image” since at least 2016. In court documents, the IRS is referring to Michael Jackson holography as “intellectual property mashups.”
Nevertheless, it appears that Michael Jackson fans want to pay to see MJ in any form. For instance, the Rutland Herald in Vermont recently reported that a long-time Michael Jackson tribute band organized by Vamsi Tadepalli is still performing as Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience.
Although Vamsi Tadepalli stated it has grown in popularity since Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, Who’s Bad started in 2003 and is alleged to be the longest-running Michael Jackson tribute band.