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.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Warner Bros

THE FILM

It is a Warner Bros Monday, as the studio hits the Top 10 chart with its second entry today. That’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which was the studio’s best performer of 2016. Warner Bros tried for years to extend the JK Rowling franchise that fed it eight blockbuster hits over a decade. Well, mission accomplished. The studio got Rowling to write her first screenplay, a spinoff of her Potter tale that brought back David Yates, who helmed the final four Potter blockbusters. The film starred Eddie Redmayne, hot off his Oscar turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything. Also starring: Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, and, in a small role that will grow larger, Johnny Depp. And plenty of creatures rampaging around 1920s New York. Let’s see how the financial numbers look.

THE BOX SCORE

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

THE BOTTOM LINE

This didn’t pass the billion-dollar mark like the final Harry Potter installment did, but there is much to be encouraged about. Warner Bros certainly was, as it has locked the cast in for a long series of movies, including Depp. The film opened to a strong $74 million domestic the week before Thanksgiving. That is less than the $90 million opening weekend grossed by Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, but that had a phenomenal-selling book behind it. Beasts took its basis from recurring mentions as a required reading textbook at Hogwarts in the original Harry Potter books. This one had no sign of the glasses-wearing wand-waving tyro magic man and his pals, but the critics and audiences sparked to the storyline continuation, and reviews were positive. The film even won the Oscar for Best Costume Design, the first in the Potter series to do that. A domestic gross of $233 million was more than doubled by its $492 million offshore haul, and China kicked in $85 million for an $812 million global gross on a $180 million budget. The film carried a pricey $53 million budget line for Participations, Residuals and Off-the-Tops, understandable given Rowling, Yates and some of the returning brain trust. The total net profit to Warner Bros was $164 million for a Cash on Cash Return of 1.37. And much to the relief of Warner Bros management and its shareholders, witches and wizards are back in style.