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 for 2017, using data culled by seasoned and trusted sources.
The signature lyric ‘Tale as old as time’ only seems to refer to the success that follows most Disney family film releases these days. But the magic formula Sean Bailey’s live action arm has honed in transferring classic Disney 2D animated classics has put that division on footing with the sister silo blockbuster factories Pixar, LucasFilm and Marvel. It’s not exactly a new concept — they’ve raided Walt’s vault as far back as 1996’s 101 Dalmatians with Glenn Close and on a more routine basis since 2011’s Alice in Wonderland — but Beauty and the Beast showed the demand to revisit those beloved musicals, on a global scale and they feed the stage shows and other ways Disney exploits its library titles. Beauty and the Beast was a high water mark, as the studio spent grandly to mount a first class tent pole, and matched the right filmmaker with the material, just as it did with Jon Favreau on The Jungle Book. Bill Condon has shown an affinity for drawing the young female audience with Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1 & 2, and knows how to stage a musical, as he showed with the Oscar-winning Dreamgirls. Anchoring the film was Harry Potter alum Emma Watson, who brings an enormous social media following.
THE BOX SCORE
Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE
With an astounding $414.7M, Beauty and the Beast is easily Disney’s most profitable live-action adaptation of an animated title ever, beating recent hits as Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book ($258.1M) and Maleficent ($190.8M); even more than last year’s $1 billion-grossing Pixar animated title Finding Dory ($296.6M). Expect to see these films finish high in the Deadline film revenue tournament for years to come. Consider the slate: Tim Burton’s Dumbo (March 29, 2019), Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin (May 24, 2019), Jon Favreau’s The Lion King (July 19, 2019) and Niki Caro’s Mulan (March 27, 2020).