The Market Cap Of 10 Of Our Favorite Fictional Companies
Vote up the most attractive investment opportunities
For many films, TV shows, and video games, made-up corporations are a key element of the story. For classic cartoons, an ever-present company can provide every conceivable product for limitless possibilities for jokes. In most of our favorite sci-fi movies, the greed of evil corporations is a major driving point of the story; for example, Weyland-Yutani was as important a part of the Alien franchise as the xenomorphs. But have you have stopped to wonder how profitable these iconic fictional companies actually are?
We took some of our favorite concocted companies and tried to work out their values based on market capitalization, which is simply the figure you arrive at when multiplying all the outstanding shares of a stock by the price of a single share. In other words - the company's value on the stock market. The number of shares usually depends on the size of the company, but can vary greatly (Amazon has a little more than 500 million, while Nokia has more than 5 billion), while a new venture will have just a few thousand. In this list, share prices are loosely based on the nearest real-life equivalent, while the total value takes into account the time period, economy, and assets of the company in the world(s) in which they're set.
This collection looks at some of our favorite fictional companies, great and small, and poses the question: which ones would offer the best bang for your buck? Would you be willing to overlook some of the companies' shadier aspects to turn a profit? What's a little viral outbreak/class-action lawsuit/security breach when there are handsome dividends in the offering?
- Photo: Futurama / Fox147 VOTES
MomCorp - 'Futurama'
Industries: Research, robotics, fuel, appliances, shipping
Location: New New York
Strengths: Aggressive leadership, massive reach
Weaknesses: Misuse of resources, hyper-fixation on minor competitors
Market cap: $6 trillion
Share price: $60,000
From robot oil to interplanetary shipping, nobody else can do it quite like MomCorp. Under the savvy guidance of Mom, the firm's value is out of this world! While Mom hasn't indicated any desire to release any of her 99.97% stake, you can rest assured there'll be plenty of interest if she ever does. The only stumbling block will be meeting that astronomical share price.
The small print:
It seems that in Futurama's world, inflation either stopped or drastically slowed down - in one episode, Fry uses a $300 stimulus to purchase 100 cups of coffee. There's also the fact that Fry's 1,000-year-old bank account seemingly outpaces inflation with an absurdly high savings rate of 2.5%.
A Forbes article from 2007 estimated MomCorp would pull in some $290 billion, but that seems to only cover earnings from Earth. If its reach is as extensive on the other worlds in the Democratic Order of Planets, the value will easily be in the trillions, given the company's near-monopoly on an array of products and services. Even with a tiny stake of just 0.01% each, Mom's three sons would still be extremely wealthy.
- Photo: Aliens / 20th Century Fox251 VOTES
Weyland-Yutani - 'Alien' Franchise
Industries: Tech, Defense, Space Exploration & Colonization, Corrections, Manufacturing
Strengths: Multiple income streams, investment diversity, government connections
Weaknesses: Huge overheads, risky ventures into bioweapons, questionable company culture
Market Cap (at merger): $218 trillion
Share price: $638,000
If you have the cash and can overlook some of the more controversial decisions at the executive level, Weyland-Yutani's potential is truly out of this world! This mega-corporation has a huge array of interests - from beer to smart guns - and even the loss of an M-class star freighter detonated for reasons unknown barely made a dent in that year's profit margins. Our analysts indicate some exciting new developments coming from LV-426 that should quiet shareholders' concerns about the long-term viability of the penal colony of Fury 161.
The small print:
Given the enormous amount of money available in off-world mining, in which Weyland-Yutani is heavily involved, it's a wonder the company has much interest in bioweapons at all. In Aliens, we learn the Nostromo is worth $42 million, but that seems like a drastic underestimate if you consider you can pick up a vastly inferior space shuttle for about $28 million today.
The scope of the company's operations is expanded upon in Aliens, with every aspect of space colonization manufactured and managed by the company. There's an oddly historic precedent with the coordination between the company and the military, a little like the Dutch East India Company.
In Alien 3 we see yet another venture in the form of the penal colony, but we really have to wonder about the practicalities of the prison at Fury 161. There's just no way that operation could turn a profit if you consider the small population and how expensive supplying it every six months would truly be.
The massive market cap comes from the expanded lore; supposedly the merger of Weyland (inspired by Leyland Motors) and Yutani (very loosely based on Toyota) saw the stock value soar to record levels on the planetary stock exchange. Given the huge collection of business interests, seen and implied, it probably just about adds up.
- Photo: Jurassic Park / Universal Pictures
Industries: Research, Entertainment
Location: Costa Rica
Strengths: Unique visitor experience
Weaknesses: Massive operating costs, security concerns
Market Cap: $25 billion
Share price: $320
The naysayers said it was impossible, but the visionary mind behind the InGen Corporation, John Hammond, proved the doubters wrong with the successful cloning of long-extinct dinosaurs. With investors wondering just how this pipe dream could possibly be monetized, the answer is at hand - the world's greatest theme park. This is an investment opportunity 65 million years in the making!
The small print:
The park is on the fictional Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica, with a total area of roughly 30 square miles. If the island was real, it would be worth about $450 million, based on the costs of much smaller islands in the area. The expense of fitting out the island and actually running it must be astronomical. Just think about the daily feeding costs for a moment. The lions (around 400 pounds each) cost about $14,000 annually to feed at Utica Zoo in New York. An adult Tyrannosaurus rex is about 35-50 times heavier, so just keeping the star attractions sated would be ridiculously pricey.
There's obviously no real-life equivalent to a dinosaur safari park, but if we use the holding company for Sea World and Busch Gardens as a yardstick, we can at least form an idea. With a buyout price of $2.7 billion in 2009, it's fair to say that Jurassic Park would probably blow Sea World out of the water in terms of market cap. The hype surrounding the park would generate a huge amount of initial interest, but the operating costs and major risks involved make it seem like a pretty bad investment. As Jeff Goldblum's character, Ian Malcolm, famously said:
Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
- Photo: Die Hard / 20th Century Fox440 VOTES
Industries: Banking, construction & international development
Location: Tokyo (main office), Los Angeles, CA
Strengths: International connections, dynamic and resourceful workforce
Weakness: High turnover at the executive level, security concerns
Market Cap: $35 billion
Share price: $35
With a new office recently opened in Los Angeles, and a lucrative development contract secured in Indonesia, the only way is up for the Nakatomi Corporation. Get in now before you miss out.
The small print:
At the time the first Die Hard is set (1988), Japanese conglomerates were dominating the stock market. The value of Nakatomi Corporation is based on those highly successful ventures.
The movie offers a few clues about the firm's interests and assets, such as the model of the Indonesian project and the mention of $640 million in bonds held in the plaza. The estimated market cap is roughly in line with one of the larger Japanese corporations at the time. Those heady days of the late '80s did not last, however.
- Photo: Blade Runner / Warner Bros.528 VOTES
Industries: Replicant production
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Strengths: Exceptional quality, in-demand niche
Weaknesses: Security risks
Market Cap: $800 billion
Share price: $900
As humankind's off-world presence grows, so too does the need for cheap, hardy, and ultimately disposable labor. The Tyrell Corporation's signature Nexus series holds the answer. The newest model is so life-like that they're more human than human. Don't let the alarmist reports over the security concerns prevent you from the deal of a lifetime.
The small print:
Fortunately, the grim future envisioned by Blade Runner hasn't come to pass. Mostly. While morally dubious corporations are still dominant, they haven't yet worked out how to replace humans with artificial labor. With mega bucks to made in off-world mining, the Tyrell Corporation would have no shortage of clients desperate for cheap slave labor to maximize profits.
A pretty brutal question emerges here: how much work could a company get from the four-year lifespan of a Nexus 6, and therefore be willing to pay for one?
Because the replicants can be enhanced to have greater strength and endurance than regular humans, those working conditions will be truly awful. Depending on how efficient the production process is, there should be a pretty healthy profit margin on each model. Supposing the Tyrell Corporation really did exist in 2019, it would likely rank among the top five companies in the world.
- Photo: Looney Tunes / Warner Bros.632 VOTES
Location: Fairfield, NJ
Strengths: A mind-boggling catalog of products, outstanding delivery services, customer loyalty
Weakness: A class-action lawsuit waiting to happen, overleveraged
Market Cap: $3 trillion
Stock price: $3,500
The acme is the point at which something is best, most perfect, or successful. It's a fitting name for the world's No. 1 producer of... well... just about everything you can imagine. The brand's range is such that some people think it stands "a company makes everything." With a fiercely loyal customer base and truly outstanding same-day delivery, ACME should be the main focus of your portfolio.
The small print:
Across the Warner Bros. universe, the ACME name is everywhere. From the labs where Pinky and the Brain hatch nightly plots to take over the world to the many schemes of Wile E. Coyote and the further education of the next generation of toon stars, ACME does absolutely everything. It's possible ACME simply commissions other companies to make its goods, a bit like Costco's Kirkland brand. Either way, we can't imagine the profit margins on some of the more specialized devices would be too lucrative, and that's before factoring in the near-instant delivery service that can seemingly find wily Wile E. in the middle of nowhere.
The threat of litigation would be ever-present, given the frequent failure of the products to work as intended - perhaps Wile E. Coyote's limitless access to goods is part of a previous settlement. One 2007 estimate put the company's revenue at nearly $349 billion. If ACME's growth mirrors other major corporations in the last 15 years, that number will be significantly higher now.