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.
This movie essentially sold itself as a bridge between the cliffhanger of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and last year’s anticipated April 26 Marvel Cinematic Universe finale Avengers: Endgame. The biggest selling tool here with Captain Marvel (arguably more powerful than any element of Disney’s massive marketing machine) was Infinity War‘s coda, which indicated that Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, was a potential savior to those Avengers snapped away into thin air by Thanos. Disney opened Captain Marvel on International Women’s Day, March 8, yet men repped most of the audience for her at 61% in Screen Engine/Comscore’s PostTrak, versus the 45% who showed up to see Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman, which arrived in cinemas as the first female superhero blockbuster in June 2017. Still, the world responded as a whole to Captain Marvel, shelling out $456.7 million in her first weekend, at the time the second-best global opening for an MCU movie (now third, due to Avengers: Endgame) after Infinity War‘s $640.5M worldwide start. At the domestic box office, Captain Marvel notched the third best March start ever with $153.4M after 2017’s Beauty and the Beast ($174.7M) and 2016’s Batman v. Superman ($166M). Captain Marvel shot so high, film finance sources told us the film reached breakeven in its first week.
THE BOX SCORE
Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE
China led Captain Marvel‘s offshore ticket sales with $154 million, but only 25% of that comes back to Disney’s bank account. The UK and South Korea were the second and third best overseas territories, respectively, at $51.8M and $43M, culminating in a global box office of $1.128 billion. This translated into global revenues including theatrical rentals (45% of the worldwide box office) of $505M, home entertainment monies of $156M and TV revenues of $204M due to Disney’s great output deals — for a total of $865M. Disney gives out box office bonuses instead of a percent of profits after cash breakeven, so star Brie Larson and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck shared in $25M worth of participations. Against $451M global costs, Captain Marvel flew away with a net profit of $414M, under Infinity War‘s half-billion haul in Deadline’s 2018 tournament, but defeating Wonder Woman’s black ink of $252.9M by 64%.