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.
Sony had a rebuilding year in 2015, but a definite bright spot was Hotel Transylvania 2, the animated film that Adam Sandler wrote with Robert Smigel, with Sandler reprising his role as chief bloodsucker. Much like a successful vampire might do, this one snuck up on everybody.
THE BOX SCORE
Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE
Hotel Transylvania 2 cracked the Top 10 in most profitable films because the economics were so favorable to Sony. The picture only cost $80M, and the participation of talent was minimal (Sandler), with everyone else being paid box office bonuses, even though everyone from director Genndy Tartakovsky to voice cast stars including Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez and Kevin James were all back, along with series newcomer Mel Brooks. The film opened with a $48M weekend in early fall, and even did a little business in China ($18M). On a total global box office of $469M, Hotel Transylvania 2 returned $159M in net profits to Sony, for a Cash on Cash Return of 1.5. Any studio would take that.