Elvis, The Hologram & Elvis, The Business


You’ve heard about plans for an Elvis hologram or digital image being developed.

The plot thickens.

There may or may not be something startling about to happen to the annual Elvis shows featuring the late entertainer signing on a big screen to a live band on a stage. But there is definitely something happening backstage, so to speak, at Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Word of the Elvis hologram broke on June 6 with a press release from CORE Media Group and Digital Domain Media Group.

DDMG is the company that developed the hologram or computer generated (CG) likeness of the late rapper Tupac Shakur that made a startling debut at the end of Dr. Dre’s set at the Coachella Valley Music Festival. That’s what started all of the speculation about who would be the next CG performer.

The June 6 press released from CORE and DDMG said they had signed an exclusive agreement to develop the image.

“The companies have already begun work on the virtual Elvis Presley likeness and will announce when and where audiences can expect to see the first virtual Elvis performances,” the release reads.

Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, told Rolling Stone this week that the plans are much more tentative than the press release indicates.

“If we want to do it, we’ve got the rights to do it, is basically all that’s happened,” she told Rolling Stone. “There’s been nothing set, no prototypes. There’s nothing in the works at the moment.”

Who, you may be asking, is CORE Media Group and what do they have to do with Elvis Presley Enterprises.

The hologram announcement on June 6 overshadowed a larger change for the business of Elvis.

It was the first announcement by CORE Media Group, the rebranded CKx, that owns 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises. CORE is described as a portfolio company of Apollo Global Management LLC, the asset management company out of New York, that bought CKx.

The rebranding was announced to much less fanfare at the end of May by CORE president Marc Graboff, a former NBC-Universal executive, named to head CORE earlier this year.

Graboff has assembled a team that debuted at the end of May from other parts of the entertainment management world including Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Morey Management Group, Relativity Media and OgilvyEntertainment.

Jack Soden, the president and CEO of Elvis Presley Enterprises, remains in the position he’s held for more than 20 years. EPE is now a division of CORE Media Group Inc. based in Memphis with an additional office in Los Angeles.