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.
If Disney’s unprecedented domination of 2016’s most profitable film tournament wasn’t evident by now, consider Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The film, the first spinoff to be made within the George Lucas-created universe, was reportedly a very troubled production. The picture, directed by Gareth Edwards, had creative problems through shooting. Tony Gilroy, integral in crafting the original The Bourne Identity, came on and did a lot of rewriting, and then he actually supervised the reshoots as a director. Word was this was the most significant reshoot/tinkering done on a major tentpole since World War Z. Normally, you would not expect the end result to be a smash hit, but they found the movie they wanted to make, and it was a crowd-pleaser that grossed just north of $1 billion. Ever had a year where everything goes right? Let’s look at the financials.
THE BOX SCORE
Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE
Rogue One was released December 15, grossing $155 million domestic and suffocating the holiday box office corridor. It felt different from the other Star Wars films, including the first not to carry that serialized crawling verbal prologue like the other films did. It hardly mattered. Felicity Jones, ordinarily seen in films from Like Crazy to The Theory Of Everything and A Monster Calls, took on her first action heroine turn as did Diego Luna, and they acquitted themselves nicely. The film grossed $531 million domestic, $453 million international and $70 million in China for a total of $1.055 billion globally. That put it as Disney’s fourth billion-dollar grossing film of the year, alongside Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia and Finding Dory. It was the third Star Wars film to cross the billion-dollar mark. The film came in at a $200 million production cost, not surprising since the extra work put in to fix the ending. Our experts say the Participations and Off-the-Tops reached $62 million, which put total costs at $515 million, and revenues at $835 million. That left Disney with a a net profit of $319 million and a Cash on Cash Return of 1.62, pretty astounding bottom-line numbers for a spinoff that had its share of troubles during production. Bring on the next spinoff, Han Solo.