Monday, September 20, 2010

Alpha and Omega, the Budget

Beyond informing us of the $9,106,906 AO made this weekend (coming in at #5), Box Office Mojo tells us nothing about the animated feature's budget. Howsoever, the Business Standard of India gives us this:

... Toy Story 3 was produced at a cost of $200 million and released in over 4,000 screens in the US. It had collected $110 million in its opening weekend.

Considering that Alpha and Omega has managed to recover around 25 per cent of its production cost through theatrical collections, the film is expected to generate cash profits for its makers. ...

Doing the math, and assuming that Business Standard is correct*, Alpha and Omega cost approximately $36 to $40 million, roughly half of the production cost of Despicable Me, the other foreign-made CGI feature of recent vintage.

I'll stay with my earlier prediction that it will collect $20-$35 million in domestic theatrical grosses and be set up for healthy DVD sales. A commenter noted that there wasn't much merchandise out with the picture, but the holiday season is still to come.

The feature won't be a big hit, but should end up a money-maker.

Add On: * I managed to overlook the "45 million" budget quote in another paragraph. The Standard managed to misstate (I think) the percentage that had been recovered. Assuming that BS is talking about theatrical grosses as a percentage of production costs, AO's weekend gross would have been $11.3 million and not $9.1 million.

(H/t to VFX Soldier for bringing the Business Standard article to our attention.)


Anonymous said...

You're off by about 50% Steve.

The article said it recovered so far around 25 percent of it's production cost, and everyone knows that a film actually only receives around 50% of the BO total.

So that would put the budget around $18 - $20m.

VFX Soldier said...

From the article:

The film had a budget of around $45 million. ... The film is a 50:50 deal between Crest Animation and Lionsgate, a Hollywood distributor. It is the first time that an overseas distributor has invested half of the money in an animation film produced by an Indian animation company

I've got a post on my blog also. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Ahh, well if indeed it did cost $45m, then the opening weekend has only covered around 10% of the production costs so far.

That's not very much at all. I can't imagine it will recoup the rest of the 90% plus marketing costs. Even if one does factor in DVD sales and merchandising.

I'd say that this is may be the last film that Crest will produce.

Anonymous said...

Even though the film didn't have the marketing budget of the films put out by the major players, it still cost tens of millions to market, and millions more to distribute. Then factoring in the approximately 50% of theatrical grosses that don't get taken by theater owners, and A&O will still be waaaaaay in the red by the end of its theatrical runs. Since DVD sales have slumped, and movies that don't get seen in the theaters rarely sell or rent well on DVD, they can't be expecting much money there.

Bottom line, at the end of the day the film was fairly cheap to make, but looked it, and will probably still lose money. Not that the producers will ever admit that...

Steve Hulett said...

45 million bucks. Of course.

I should read more closely.

(But let's remember that public production budgets and actual production costs are often at variance.)

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of that $45 million was spent in India?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the film will probably not make as much of a profit as this article suggests. It may not have had the massive advertising budget of a Pixar or Dreamworks movie, but I saw enough promotion for it to think that they spent a nice chunk of change on advertising.

It's interesting that the article notes that Crest's stock dropped 10% just after the film's release...not a good sign.

Balto was another wolf movie that flopped hard in theaters, but it was successful enough on VHS to warrant a couple DTV sequels. Of course, that was back when home video was a booming industry, so who knows how A&O will do now that DVD is slumping.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much of that $45 million was spent in India?

One of the dirty little secrets of outsourced animation is that going to India isn't nearly as cheap as one might expect. Indian animators aren't paid pennies on the dollar, and they try to make up for the lack of skills and training by hiring lots of people, who require lots of management. Ultimately, you pay 65-80% of what you would have paid in Los Angeles, and you get work that looks, oh, about 50% as good (though looking at A&O, I think 50% is generous).

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