We’ve gone deep down the rabbit hole to try to unearth the carefully shrouded production budget of Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame. We’ve tracked the progress of previous MCU blockbuster behemoths and current ticket sales trends to offer our informed prediction of just how well the movie will do at the box office. But until now, we had no idea what Disney and Marvel were shelling out to promote the thing. Unsurprisingly, the film’s massive marketing campaign has cost a mind-numbing amount of money.
Deadline estimates that the promotion expenditures for Endgame easily eclipse the $200 million mark, making it the most expensive marketing endeavor in the studio’s history. Previous top-tier Marvel marketing efforts included Avengers: Infinity War ($150 million-plus), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($140 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($80 million). Typically, blockbusters of this magnitude require $100 million in domestic prints-and-advertising (P&A) spend, with an additional $100 million occasionally being invested to market the tentpole overseas. As international markets such as Russia, Latin America and China continue to expand and hold valuable box-office potential, marketing costs have soared across the industry. Those costs may have made it more difficult for studios to turn a profit, but Avengers: Infinity War was still 2018’s most profitable film.
In total, Marvel has trotted out a record 10 custom ad-supported spots for Endgame, and those don’t come cheap.
“As our fan universe expands with new characters and stories, so has our audience,” Mindy Hamilton, SVP of Partnership Marketing at the Walt Disney Company, told the outlet. “We’ve grown beyond our target audience of traditional fanboys; now it’s millennials, it’s teens, it’s multicultural and families. We look for partnerships that honor and celebrate in each of these.”
Marvel has become such a dominant force in the monoculture that brand partnerships with the studio have yielded an estimated 50-percent rise in sales for specific product lines, per the outlet’s industry estimates. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the single-most consistently successful entity in Hollywood history.
While the studio manages to attract a diverse audience, young men tend to be the most consistent ticket buyers for its films. In an attempt to broaden that horizon and even the ratio a bit, Marvel partnered with Ulta Beauty on a line of Avengers-themed cosmetics to better court female moviegoers.
“Sometimes partners are new to the promotional arena or new to a specific category,” Hamilton said. “We’re always looking for the brand with the right DNA connection, and it gets our fans excited when they pop up in their daily life.”
Other cross-promotional Endgame efforts include collaborations with Stand Up to Cancer, Mastercard, Audi and McDonald’s.
Avengers: Endgame hits theaters April 26.