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: Another big-budget effort that was designed to gross a billion dollars, and didn’t. The 3D film sure opened huge — a $91.6 million opening weekend when it bowed May 2 — and yet Sony is again overhauling the Spidey franchise, for the third time. How did the movie really do?

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

THE BOTTOM LINE: Some say that this has to be the most maligned movie ever that turned in a worldwide gross of $708.98 million, including $94.4 million of that from China. But tell-tale signs of franchise fatigue are evident. Consider how the Spidey numbers have descended. The original Sam Raimi movie grossed $821.7 million worldwide, including $403.7M domestic and $418M foreign. The sequel did $783.8M worldwide, $373.6M domestic, $410.2M foreign and the third one jumped to $890.87M worldwide, with $336.5M domestic and $554.3M foreign. Then, Raimi decided no more and (500) Days Of Summer helmer Marc Webb took over, with a compressed amount of time to work up a new version before the rights clock ran out and the franchise would have reverted to Marvel at Disney; Andrew Garfield inherited the Spidey suit from Tobey Maguire and Emma Stone took over female lead. Their first film had a worldwide gross of $757.9M, with $262M domestic and $495.9M foreign. Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s $708.98M worldwide fell short of that, and its $202.85M domestic was off and the $506M foreign was good but that enjoyed a boost from a burgeoning marketplace in China. The biggest problem, according to our data, is that the movie cost too darned much at $255M. That left Sony Pictures with a $70.38 million net, or a 1.12 cash-on-cash return, and 18th place in the 2014 rankings.

No. 19 – Godzilla
No. 17 – Divergent