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: The Oscar-nominated sequel was a bright spot for DreamWorks Animation, with a global gross of $618.9 million. How did it hit 13th place, according to our experts?

THE BOX SCORE: Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:

THE BOTTOM LINE: The original scored a higher domestic gross with $217.6M, but the sequel more than made up for that with a broadening foreign gross of $376.8M, plus another $65M in grosses from China. The original grossed $277.3M in total foreign box office. The participations were limited to returning writer-directors Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, and the actors who voiced roles (Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill among them) got box office bonuses. Where DreamWorks Animation paid a hefty fee was the 8% of theatrical and home video that went to Fox, but it paid a lower fee on digital and no fee on domestic TV. Fox got paid $39.85M for distributing the film, and that left DWA with net profits of $107.3M. Its Cash on Cash Return was 1.93, by far the biggest we’ve seen of any of the films in the rankings so far.

No. 14 – The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
No. 12 – Gone Girl