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: This one snuck up on me, perhaps because Paramount and Platinum Dunes took so long putting it together. I didn’t realize this had done this well. The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a juggernaut, and one of the first big franchises in the formative days of New Line, and it doesn’t seem to have lost any of its luster for a new generation of kids. How did Paramount engineer such a solid franchise launch? Let’s look at the numbers.
THE BOX SCORE: Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE: Opening August 8, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out of its shell with a $65.6M opening weekend, on the way to a $191.2M domestic tally. It did significantly better overseas, with $231.7M foreign and an extra $62M in China box office, which returns less to the studio but doesn’t require a P&A spend. Even though Michael Bay rekindled his fractured relationship with his original Transformers star Megan Fox and put her into the lead female role here, there were no major back end participants beyond Bay and his producing cohorts Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, and rights payments. The budget seemed a bit high, but a studio net haul of $81.3M is a good result for a franchise launch, and the Cash on Cash Return of 1.22 is certainly a ringing endorsement for a second film.