Upon seeing the Friday box office figures, a Universal executive went on the record this morning regarding the financial outcome of his studio’s latest blockbuster. An opening weekend for Snow White and the Huntsman north of the $55 million mark here in the U.S. is apparently enough to make the big budget fantasy flick a profitable outing–verbiage that has not exactly been used to describe much of Hollywood’s summer efforts this year.
The confirmation came to light when the executive reportedly told Deadline’s Nikki Finke the following:
“We’ll make money with the movie which we really care about. No one can rag us this week.”
For those who do not follow the trades, they love to beat up on mammoth blockbusters with bloated budgets and underwhelming box office performances. A number of industry blogs (not us) already went on the record prior to Friday’s $20.3 million gross for Snow White that the movie would be ‘yet another bust for the industry’ with comparisons already being made to Disney’s John Carter and Universal’s own Battleship. This was a bit too early though, but who could blame them?
Hollywood has flat out been a disappointment this year with the exception of a few big budget gems in The Avengers and The Hunger Games. Not only that, but Universal themselves lowered the projections for Snow White to $30-35 million going into the weekend just so they could have some positive spin should the movie only post $40 million in its first three days.
Let’s get real though and look at the line here. Snow White and the Huntsman cost a tad over $170 million, not the $250 million that some of the early summer bombs were comprised of. Aside from that subtle fact, the marketing budget reportedly came in under $100 million which is making this one of the least expensive blockbusters of the year. With an assumed $250+ million global box office haul and a lot of that coming from domestic theaters, it is definitely a small profit taking opportunity for Universal as well as a win for first-time director Rupert Sanders who previously only worked in commercials.