Image from Information is Beautiful
This week we saw the release of what many in the media are calling one of the biggest box office bombs in history: John Carter. While I think it’s a bit premature to write this one off as it seems to be playing pretty well internationally, it’s a good segue to a recent infographic released by Information is Beautiful on Hollywood profitability.
The graph sorts films by their profitability in an easy to navigate system. What’s interesting is that while John Carter may have bombed, it’s seems that according to this graph, the vast majority of films generally make very healthy profits.
Of course most in the industry will tell you that film production budgets do not contain huge marketing costs. The general rule of thumb tends to be that marketing costs are equivalent to the productions costs of a film. So in order to break even, a film needs to make 200% of it’s production budget.
I think that may be a good rule of thumb. If you swipe around the films in the 100-200% region, you find many big tent-pole films that didn’t give birth to a sequel. A sequel is a pretty good indicator that the previous film made a profit.