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.
THE BOX SCORE
After a 14-year lapse, Universal Pictures finally let audiences back to Jurassic Park. Guided by a filmmaker whose previous film Safety Not Guaranteed cost probably what they spent in catering, Jurassic World paired up-and-coming superstar Chris Pratt with Bryce Dallas Howard. Would the fourth installment of the venerable franchise created by the late Michael Crichton still have what it takes? Let’s look at the bottom-line numbers to show how the picture did.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The delay in mounting another Jurassic Park has been attributed to development hell, but it seems to have everything to do with the bruised feelings that happened when DreamWorks seemed headed for a distribution deal at Universal after it was extricated from Paramount, only to veer at the last moment and head to Disney. Steven Spielberg, who by the way never ever left his Amblin offices on the Universal lot the entire time, is now back at his studio home. This all worked out very well, and the franchise only grew in value while it stayed dormant. Two mega stars were launched in Colin Trevorrow, who won’t be back for a sequel because he got his dream job directing a Star Wars film, and Pratt, who showed that Guardians of the Galaxy was no fluke and became the brightest male leading man in Hollywood in years. Jurassic World opened huge as you would expect, with $208.8M in its opening weekend domestic, and $316M for its five-day opening worldwide. Its $1.6B global gross made it 2015’s second-highest-grossing film, and the fourth-highest grossing of all time. So why did it finish only third biggest of 2015? Certainly, the $250M production budget brought it slightly down to earth, but take a look at the participations line and it tells you everything. Some $200M was paid out to talent, according to our experts, and that is by far the biggest amount of any film so far. The bulk of that money went to Spielberg, who directed the first film and, though he’s now a producer,he basically got somewhere near 35% of money after cash break, sources said. Spielberg has always had these kind of deals and made a fortune on the Men in Black films in the same fashion. Despite this hit, Universal realized an astounding $474M in net profit, but a Cash on Cash Return of 1.6. And that puts the picture in third place.