In a surprising turn of events, two of Hollywood's biggest film franchises have underperformed at the box office this season, resulting in an estimated loss of $100 million. Tom Cruise's "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One" has raked in over $523 million globally, while Harrison Ford's "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny" has accumulated $375 million. However, these numbers do not take into account the high production and marketing costs associated with these films.
According to Variety, both movies are among the most expensive in history, with production costs reaching approximately $300 million and marketing expenses of at least $100 million. Despite the inflated budgets, industry experts suggest that the impact of COVID-19 on the film industry cannot be ignored, as it has affected the overall performance of these movies.
Analysts predict that "Mission: Impossible" could break even if it reaches $600 million in global box office revenue, which includes income from in-home entertainment options. This highlights the growing importance of streaming services and alternative distribution methods for the financial success of films.
Disney CEO Bob Iger emphasized the significance of franchises in the company's earnings report for the third quarter. He noted that focusing on big franchises and tentpole films generates interest in their existing library and drives engagement on Disney+. For example, Disney+ has seen tremendous viewership for previous films like "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Avatar," and the first four "Indiana Jones" movies.
While the disappointing box office results of these two franchises may seem discouraging, industry experts point out that streaming and other sales opportunities may help recoup the losses in the long run. Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock suggests that studios are playing the long game, aiming for profitability beyond immediate theatrical releases.
In contrast, the success of the film "Barbie" demonstrates the paradigm of spending less and making more. With a production cost of only $145 million, the movie has grossed over $1 billion worldwide. This success showcases the financial benefits of keeping production costs under control while achieving substantial box office returns.
In conclusion, the recent box office disappointments of "Mission: Impossible" and "Indiana Jones" highlight the challenges faced by the film industry, from inflated budgets to the impact of the ongoing pandemic. However, the potential for revenue generation through streaming and other sales avenues offers hope for recovering losses in the long term. Additionally, the success of "Barbie" serves as a reminder of the profitability that can be achieved by maintaining a reasonable budget.