Marvel’s decade-in-the-making Avengers: Endgame broke the all-time worldwide box office record previously held by Avatar with a monstrous $2.79 billion in ticket sales. Prior to the film’s release, no weekend in film history had ever surpassed $300 million at the domestic box office when accounting for all available films; Endgame earned $357.1 million in its opening frame on its own. All of the movie’s box office benchmarks are staggering totals that redefine the possibilities of blockbuster cinema and our understanding of the economics at work. But raw box office numbers aren’t the ultimate purveyor of success and failure in Hollywood.
The real mark of financial performance is pure profit calculated after production budgets, marketing cots, talent participations and other expenses are factored into the final equation. Fortunately, Deadline runs through the most profitable films of the year to provide us with a snapshot of the monetary masterstrokes. On the one-year anniversary of Avengers: Endgame‘s release, they revealed that the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—which is possibly the most expensive film ever made—generated $890 million in net profit. Bob Iger and Kevin Feige are probably still sipping champagne 12 months alter.
That total marked a ridiculous 78 percent jump from 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, which led all of Hollywood with a mammoth $500 million in profit. Endgame earned $1.2 billion in its worldwide opening weekend alone, which managed to immediately cover the film’s $511 million production and global marketing theatrical costs, per Deadline. Endgame‘s totals are even more impressive when you factor in how much money went to the cast.
Talent participations rose 25 percent from Infinity War ($140 million), with a staggering $175 million going to the stars for Endgame. Robert Downey Jr. reportedly earned $20 million upfront for the film with $55 million-plus in backend profits. Scarlett Johansson is said to have earned a paycheck in the $20 million range while Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth are believed to have been paid $15 million to $20 million.
Disney (DIS) owned four of the top five most profitable films in 2019 with Endgame ($890 million), Frozen 2 ($599 million), The Lion King ($580 million), and Captain Marvel ($414 million). The only non-Disney entry among the top five was Warner Bros. DC film Joker, which netted an impressive $437 million.
Over 23 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has earned an unthinkable $22.5 billion, making it the most successful box office franchise in cinematic history. The average MCU flick takes in $982 million worldwide and enjoys a $135 million domestic opening, according to math. Five of the franchise’s last six films have surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales with two of those entries crossing $2 billion.
But, given the world-breaking success of Avengers: Endgame and the new ground to be covered in Phase IV, can Marvel maintain the momentum without the aid of its foundational building blocks?