Business Loan Horror Stories: Death by Debt

Companies often borrow business loans when they are struggling or need to expand. Unfortunately, some companies end up going out of business because they borrowed too much or had terrible management.

In light of Halloween,’s latest infographic compares tragic corporate failures with equally terrifying horror movie franchises. But while the former — which were supposed to be profitable and happy enterprises — resulted in horrifying failure, the latter — which were supposed to frightening — resulted in profitable success.

Take for example THQ, the company behind Darksiders, STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, and the Red Faction series. In December of 2012, it had $50 million of business loan debt when it declared bankruptcy. In comparison, the entire Alien sci-fi horror franchise has earned $515 million. That’s more than 10 times THQ’s debt.

Tower Records had $100 million in business loan debt when it declared bankruptcy in August of 2006. In comparison, the blockbuster horror film The Ring, earned $250 million. It earned more than twice Tower Records’ debt.

Planet Hollywood, the restaurant chain that was backed by movie stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, had $250 million in business loan debt when it went bankrupt in April 1999. The classic Stephen King horror film The Shining has earned $44 million. It would have to earn that five times over to equal Planet Hollywood’s debt.

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