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.
As mentioned before, when Disney makes sequels to its animated movies, they’re not about franchise fatigue. It took six years to deliver part two of the record $1.28 billion-grossing animated pic Frozen, for which the studio reassembled the core team of directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and Oscar-winning “Let It Go” songsmiths Kristen Anderson-Lopez and husband Robert Lopez. This time the duo earned Story By credits given the heavy involvement of songs in the sequel. Voice cast Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Josh Gad were also back. Frozen 2 opened in the pre-Thanksgiving slot previously ruled over by the Harry Potter movies and notched the fifth best opening in November with $130.2 million, and its second-weekend stretch of $125M was the best ever grossed for a Thanksgiving five-day frame. More proof that big money was apt to be made: Fandango reported that Frozen 2 was its biggest animated feature pre-seller in the online/digital ticket retailer’s 19-year history, besting Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4. What little girl (or teen, or woman) didn’t want to see this movie? Everyone was all in as Frozen 2 became the highest-grossing animated movie of all time at the box office with $1.45 billion — yes, even beating Frozen.
THE BOX SCORE
Here are the costs and revenues as our experts see them:
THE BOTTOM LINE
Wow. That $1.45 billion global box office yielded $1 billion in overall revenues. Total costs were $453M, including $150M production cost, $145M global P&A spend, and participations of $35M which were bonus deals for Gad, Bell, Menzel, the filmmakers and the Lopezes. Frozen 2 warmed up $599 in net profit for Disney at the end of the day.