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 for 2019, using data culled by seasoned and trusted sources.
The sequel, along with Godzilla: King of Monsters and Dark Phoenix, was part of a string of franchises that melted down at last summer’s box office in the wake of Disney’s Avengers: Endgame, despite the fact that this Illumination follow-up arrived six weeks after the Disney/Marvel feature and before Disney’s other event sequel Toy Story 4. After the first Pets in 2016 posted the best opening of all time for a non-franchise film with $104.3 million, Pets 2 debuted at 55% less with $46.6M (and missing a $60M domestic projection). Domestic results for the sequel were also down, by 57%, from the first with $158.8M, and off 51% worldwide with a $430M final cume. Illumination, with its Despicable Me movies, has increasingly posted stronger results (Minions cleared over a half billion in profit our 2015 tourney), but this was a letdown in regards to the Pets brand despite the fact it earned the same CinemaScore from audiences as the first with an A-, and overall great audience exits of 4 1/2 stars on PostTrak. Part of the miss here hinged on Pets 2 not distinguishing itself enough in its sell from the first movie. It also skewed toward younger kids, with 33% of the crowd being under 10 versus the 10-12 set which only turned up at 13%.
THE BOX SCORE
Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE
Despite Pets 2 falling short of the first movie, the good news is that it turned a profit, in large part due to the thrifty production cost associated with Illumination movies — this one at $80M. Participations are typically lower on animated movies versus live-action event movies, and here they were at $20M. Revenue including global home entertainment and TV rang up $393M, and against total costs of $275M, The Secret Life of Pets 2 becomes the first title in our tournament to net over $100M with $118M in profit.