National Garfield the Cat Day: How much is Garfield worth?

Beloved comic and cartoon character can reportedly pull in up to $1 billion in merchandise sales

Before there was Grumpy Cat, there was another perturbed feline that captured the hearts of Americans with his quips and love of lasagna.

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From a comic strip and merchandise, movies, television specials and shows, the fictional cat Garfield is a multimillion-dollar and maybe even a billion-dollar character. Here is how much Garfield is worth.

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Comics & Merchandise

The officially syndicated Garfield comic strips began in 1978, although the first comic strips were published in the Pendleton Times-Post newspaper of Indiana in 1976 under the series name “Jon.”

Garfield gained traction over the years and reportedly peaked in 2004 with its circulation reaching 2,600 daily newspapers, according to a report from Licensing International.

Garfield and Odie in a scene from the 1985 primetime special "Garfield's Halloween Adventure." (Film Roman Productions)

Close to the end of last year, more than 11,000 hand-drawn Garfield comic strips went up for sale at the Dallas-based Heritage Auctions house, according to the Associated Press. The auction house’s comic grader Brian Wiedman told the publication the daily Garfield comic strips sold for around $500 to $700 while the longer-form Sunday comic strips sold for around $1,500 to $3,000.

The classic character is so beloved, Licensing International reported that Garfield merchandise makes $750 million to $1 billion in annual sales.

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Movies

There are five feature films starring the famous orange cat, two of which were produced by Twentieth Century Fox and released in 2004 and 2006, respectively.

Combined, the five movies have made more than $362.7 milliond worldwide, according to ticket sales data from Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro.

Garfield (2004)

Worldwide Box Office: $203,172,417

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006)

Worldwide Box Office: $143,325,970

Garfield Gets Real (2007)

Worldwide Box Office: $1,726,453

Garfield’s Fun Fest (2008)

Worldwide Box Office: $3,068,511

Garfield’s Pet Force (2009)

Worldwide Box Office: $11,445,294

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Television

Outside of gracing the silver screen, Garfield has 13 primetime television specials that aired between 1982 and 1991 – four of which won Emmy awards.

  • Here Comes Garfield (1982)
  • Garfield on the Town (1983, Emmy-winning)
  • Garfield in the Rough (1984, Emmy-winning)
  • Garfield's Halloween Adventure (1985 Emmy-winning)
  • Garfield in Paradise (1986)
  • Garfield Goes Hollywood (1987)
  • A Garfield Christmas (1987)
  • Happy Birthday, Garfield (1988)
  • Garfield: His 9 Lives (1988)
  • Garfield's Babes and Bullets (1989, Emmy-winning)
  • Garfield's Thanksgiving (1989)
  • Garfield's Feline Fantasies (1990)
  • Garfield Gets a Life (1991)

There have been three official television series featuring Garfield. The first series was “Garfield and Friends,” which began airing on CBS and had seven seasons. The second series was “The Garfield Show,” which aired three seasons on Cartoon Network and two seasons on Boomerang.

The third series is the 2D French-animated series “Garfield Originals,” which aired in 2019 on France 3 but was acquired by Viacom International as part of the network’s purchase of the Garfield franchise, according to Licensing International.

  • Garfield and Friends (1988 - 1994)
  • The Garfield Show (2009 - 2016)
  • Garfield Originals (2019)

A new Garfield show is in the works for ViacomCBS’s Nickelodeon, according to a report from Deadline in August. The release date has yet to be determined.

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Jim Davis Net Worth

Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis, is estimated to have a net worth of $800 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, a website that reports estimates of total assets and financial activities of celebrities.

The 74-year-old cartoonist is most known for his work with the “Garfield” comic strip and TV shows, however, he has also illustrated comics for “Tumbleweeds,” “Gnorm Gnat” and “Mr. Potato Head.”

American cartoonist Jim Davis with his most famous creation Garfield on October 25, 1983. (B. Gomer/Express/Getty Images)

Additionally, Davis has done work in screenwriting, film and television production.

Davis bought Garfield’s syndication and licensing contracts from comic strip newspaper syndication service United Media in April 1994 for an estimated $15 million to $20 million, according to Editor & Publisher, a 2001 Los Angeles Times report said.

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