When it comes to evaluating the financial performance of top movies, it isn’t about what a film grosses at the box office. The true tale is told when production budgets, P&A, talent participations and other costs collide with box office grosses, and ancillary revenues from VOD to DVD and TV. To get close to that mysterious end of the equation, Deadline is repeating our Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament, using data culled by seasoned and trusted sources. We’re counting down from No. 20 and will present the data en masse Monday.
THE FILM: Fox and Chernin Entertainment managed the unthinkable. They generated a sequel that did nearly double the business of 2011’s superb Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, with a new director and an almost entirely new cast (James Franco didn’t return). The only carryover was the remarkable Andy Serkis, bringing to life the series’ cornerstone primate, Caesar. Those who’ve made it this far through this tournament know what that means. Little or no participations muddying up the profit picture.
THE BOX SCORE: Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE: The budget was on the high side at $170 million, but just look at the escalation of growth in this vibrant franchise. The original grossed $482M worldwide, with $177M domestic. The sequel grossed $708.8M worldwide, with $208.55M domestic, $392.9M foreign, and another $107.3M from China (Fox only kept $26.8M of that, but still that is good money). Because the participations were on the low side, the studio’s net profit was $182.18M, with a Cash on Cash Return of 1.42. This is a franchise that will keep going and going, unless they screw it up.