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.
As we move further toward the most profitable films of 2016, Disney has entered the fray with Moana. If you are a fan of the studio, the write-ups here going forward will make you happy, as the studio turned in a remarkable overall performance that accounts for an astounding eight of the top dozen profit slots. Moana is the headstrong daughter of the chief of a Polynesian tribe tasked with reuniting a sacred relic with a goddess. To do it, she requires help from Maui, a demigod who can help ward off a blight that has devastated her homeland. The title character’s voiced by 14-year-old Auli’i Cravalho, a native Hawaiian, and Maui was voiced by Dwayne Johnson. Throw in some songs by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the result was a crowd-pleasing holiday hit. How did the financial numbers play out?
THE BOX SCORE
Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE
Moana opened for the long Thanksgiving weekend and knocked the returning Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them out of the top slot with the second-biggest five-day weekend performance after Frozen, at $82 million. The film grossed $247 million domestic, with $319 million foreign and $32 million in China for a $600 million total. After a total of $30 million in Participations and Off-the-Tops, Moana turned in a $121 million in net profit, and a Cash on Cash Return of 1.32. That’s a respectable score for a live-action or animated film for most studios, but it was only the eighth-best performer of the year for Disney.