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.

Rank 16X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

THE FILM: This was a true superhero event, melding the original X-Men cast with the one from X-Men: First Class, and bringing back Bryan Singer, the filmmaker who got the franchise off the ground so strongly. When you bring back stars like that, they get paid. So how did Days Of Future Past stack up compared to past mutant installments and on the financial ledger? Let’s take a look.

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

THE BOTTOM LINE: Its $748M worldwide gross put this film atop the X-Men standings, and its $233.9M domestic tally finished just under X-Men: Last Stand for domestic dominance. This movie had everything going for it, and when it was previewed at Comic-Con with both casts, Hall H took on the feel of a rock concert when both casts took the podium. But there were very rich deals on this film, as happens when a franchise keeps going with the original casts intact. Hugh Jackman and Singer made huge paydays, and the rest of the returning cast did very well. So basically, the talent made more than the studio, which is the price of making an All-Star superhero picture. The participations here reach $100 million, while 20th Century Fox’s net on the film is $77.38M. The Cash on Return is 1.13, but there seems to be no limit on the X-Men franchise. The results are good enough for 16th on our 2014 list.

No. 17 – Divergent