‘Elemental’ Continues To Break Box Office Records

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2 Responses

  1. Eric says:

    except that that isn’t true. With a 200 million dollar budget, 100 million dollar marketing cost the film needs to make 600 million globally to even break even. as of right now it is still 100 million in the hole because the studios don’t get 100% of the box office back (theaters need to get paid too).

    • David Mumpower says:

      Hi Eric. As an FYI, I edited your post to remove the last sentence, as it was needlessly acrimonious. I’m confident you didn’t mean to impugn a stranger’s professional acumen, but your words came across that way. I’ve dialed down the rhetoric so that we can focus on your questioning of the math of Elemental instead.

      Specifically, you argue that a film with a “near $200 million budget” and $100 million marketing campaign needs $600 million worldwide to turn a profit. The short version of this conversation is that Variety quoted Pixar’s President as saying that Elemental “will certainly be a profitable film.” That should be good enough for either of us, as Disney is notorious for underselling the financial perspective of its films in an industry where most studios do the opposite.

      However, if you’d like a deeper dive, Elemental has earned $458 million worldwide. Disney’s split of that amount is likely in the range of $250-$275 million. Importantly, people keep glossing over Disney’s comment that the budget was nearly $200 million rather than at/over that level. Also, the $100 million budget estimate speaks to Hollywood norms and overlooks Disney’s vertical integration. It owns linear television programs like ESPN, ABC, and FX. As such, its marketing spend is fractional in terms of actual financial outlay. Instead, it’s more about an opportunity cost argument of financial loss from ads Disney could have sold to third parties rather than running its own ads for Elemental. Some expenses like a trip to Cannes come into play, but Disney paid those for several of its releases, subdividing its costs.

      In the Variety article I referenced, Pixar’s President said “We’re hoping it’ll get to maybe $460 million.” With its current box office and shockingly strong holds in international markets, that’s the film’s worst case right now. It’ll likely reach that level by Friday. So, there’s literally ZERO reason to believe Elemental is anything but profitable. If you’d like a fourth verification of this fact, here’s a Collider article from last week suggesting that $450 million was the film’s breakeven point: https://collider.com/elemental-box-office-budget/