The final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the fourth of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal the numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.
The Matchup: Another intramural battle, this time at Disney. Monsters University, which beat another Disney film, Thor: The Dark World, in Round 1, turned in the seventh-highest domestic gross of 2013 films, and was the sixth-highest-grossing film offshore. Its $82 million opening was the second biggest for a Pixar film, was the second largest among G-rated films, and fifth largest for animated films all time. Frozen’s opening was obscured a bit by the record-breaking Thanksgiving weekend opening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but it too broke existing records for that holiday. And it just kept going, outpacing The Hobbit sequel and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and another for Best Original Song in “Let It Go.” Its $1.03 billion gross made it the second highest for the year. It handily bested The Great Gatsby in Round 1.
The Box Score: Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them.
The Bottom Line: Monsters University didn’t do as well as predecessor Monsters, Inc. on the domestic front, but the film built on its brand overseas with $441.4 million compared to $273 million, with another $33.7 million coming from China. On a $200 million net production cost and $145 million P&A cost to launch globally, it turned in a global box office tally of $743.6 million. That led to $179.8 million in profit to Pixar and Disney, with a Total Cash on Cash Return of 1.36. Those numbers are fine, but not when compared to Frozen. That film, which cost $150 million to make and another $146 million P&A to launch globally, still turned in a whopping $406.6 million in profits to Disney. Its Total Cash on Cash Return is 1.86. Plus, it launched a franchise and a bestselling soundtrack, and there are talks of a stage show. Also, it showed that Disney is still capable of making strong animated films that don’t carry the Pixar brand.
The Winner: This one’s not really close. Frozen bests Monsters University in a rout.
SWEET 16 RESULTS
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’
#4 ‘Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’
#5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’
#6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’