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Suicide Squad

19 Aug 2016 15:38 #49704 by jdrock24
Replied by jdrock24 on topic Suicide Squad
No one except the top executives at the studio know exactly how profitable a film really is or what the break even point is. I'm an auditor in my day job (not in the film industry) and I can see how revenue and costs can both easily be swept away in various accounting maneuvers in order to get the numbers to say what you want them to say for any given situation.

For example, every studio has various subsidiary companies that a film (which is it's own subsidiary company of the studio) hires to provide services for. Like Disney's catering company that provides food to the cast and crew during filming. The film pays the catering company for the meals, thus showing a cost to the film but revenue to the catering company. In reality though, that cost never left Disney since they own both of the subsidiary companies, making it a wash in the overall balance sheet of the studio.

As you can see from this small example, this can quickly become absurdly complicated. When you get into tax breaks, international box office deals, merchandise revenue, actor contracts, insurance, financing partners, etc...there is no way anyone on the outside can reasonably guess how much a movie needs to make in order to be profitable. Heck, I bet there is even some disagreement within the executive suites at every big studio about the break-even number for any given movie. It's all in how you look at the numbers and how you interpret them.

So the next time someone makes the grand statement that "So and so film has to make this much to be profitable" know that they are probably talking out of their @$$ and don't know anything.

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19 Aug 2016 15:47 #49705 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Suicide Squad
Finally last week Suicide Squad finally came out here too, so I can prperly comment on it.

I have to be very brutal, the general feeling I got was that of a movie that tried to pack too much into a too small package and that would eneormously benefit from being at least 30 minutes longer.
What I think make me cringe the most was how uneven the character development was, I'm not talking about Slipknot, who was clearly there to die, but the fact that there was so much focus on Deadshot and Harley that almost none of the other characters had the chance to be much -- except the darkhorse of the bunch El Diablo. th worst victims in this sensa are Croc and Katana, whose entire characterizations amounted to a single scene and some one-liners; and poor Digger Harness, who got the short end of the stick from minute one. Other charactes were hit or miss by the scene, but I generally enjoyed them.
Waller was spot on and I loved every minute she was on scene.
Harley was reasonably fun and crazy, although I think that the whole Joker storyline was more or less insignificant to the overall story.
Deadshot was a no go for me. As much as Will Smith looked great in the action scenes and he did, he just felt too much of a Will Smith antihero and not enough Floyd Lawton. In my mind Deadshot is more or less like Lampourde from "Captain Fracasse", a hired killer with style, a man who would take a one dollar job because he find it a challenge over a milion dollar routine hit. Above all he is a man who wouldn't condone a betrayal; as far as I', concerned there was no way he would miss Harley like he did when she tried to run.
The big issue is that I can see the possibilities of this movie, I think it was just mere inches from being great, but they were drowned by the need to push the big name actors up-front (can someone please took that camera off Will Smith for a second, please?) and a story that had some egregious holes that need to be fixed.
I think that it suffer from one of the usual problems of team movies: it had to sacrifice one out of three elements (characterization, team building or story) and it kind of shaved some out of all of them.

Did I enjoyed Suicide Squad?
Sort of. It's the kind of movie where the great scenes are really good to watch, but otherwise didn't get me going.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

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19 Aug 2016 17:38 #49711 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Suicide Squad

No one except the top executives at the studio know exactly how profitable a film really is or what the break even point is.


While this is true to a certain extent, I think its fair to say that most avid film buffs can make educated guess at what that point is, based on factors known.

So the next time someone makes the grand statement that "So and so film has to make this much to be profitable" know that they are probably talking out of their @$$ and don't know anything.


Good to know. Didn't know I was talking out of my @$$ and didn't know anything. Thank you for that insight.

Peace.

/K

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19 Aug 2016 18:01 #49713 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Suicide Squad

jdrock24 wrote:
For example, every studio has various subsidiary companies that a film (which is it's own subsidiary company of the studio) hires to provide services for. Like Disney's catering company that provides food to the cast and crew during filming. The film pays the catering company for the meals, thus showing a cost to the film but revenue to the catering company. In reality though, that cost never left Disney since they own both of the subsidiary companies, making it a wash in the overall balance sheet of the studio.
.


I may have told this story before, but it is intresting:

Once had a neat conversation with a former VP at Disney in charge of production. He was doing the Disney Channel Original programing and movies. They have a big Studio in Burbank in LA. He was filming his movies there, and doing a decent job of it-it can be easier to do certainly. However it was determined by the higher ups that he whould have to charge them the cost of renting the studio they use for other productions-in effect it wasn't the disney studio just the studio Disney happened to own.

It was now to expensive to filmthere so they had to move out...Even though Burbanks studio was often after that empty(and from what i gather it has improved but still kinda empty), and they where paying for expensive space elsewhere. This is one of the reasons he became a former executive..

I don't think this is totally applicable to Squad, but thought i would mention it.

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19 Aug 2016 19:04 - 19 Aug 2016 19:06 #49718 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Suicide Squad

castor wrote:

jdrock24 wrote:
For example, every studio has various subsidiary companies that a film (which is it's own subsidiary company of the studio) hires to provide services for. Like Disney's catering company that provides food to the cast and crew during filming. The film pays the catering company for the meals, thus showing a cost to the film but revenue to the catering company. In reality though, that cost never left Disney since they own both of the subsidiary companies, making it a wash in the overall balance sheet of the studio.
.


I may have told this story before, but it is intresting:

Once had a neat conversation with a former VP at Disney in charge of production. He was doing the Disney Channel Original programing and movies. They have a big Studio in Burbank in LA. He was filming his movies there, and doing a decent job of it-it can be easier to do certainly. However it was determined by the higher ups that he whould have to charge them the cost of renting the studio they use for other productions-in effect it wasn't the disney studio just the studio Disney happened to own.

It was now to expensive to filmthere so they had to move out...Even though Burbanks studio was often after that empty(and from what i gather it has improved but still kinda empty), and they where paying for expensive space elsewhere. This is one of the reasons he became a former executive..

I don't think this is totally applicable to Squad, but thought i would mention it.


This was a common enough thing in other industries too. How costs were attributed could make or break projects, which was one reason why Finance combined with internal politics could enable or doom new ventures.

Firms that succeed (think Apple) know this well and they often bias the system to load existing products with as much cost as they can get away with so as to make it less expensive to try out new ideas. In reality, the money doesn't change much, only what area of the operation they want to burden with it. Which can have a profound effects on how a business runs. All of which takes us back to politics (or at best strategy) as the driver, but in some poorly managed companies, its just simple incompetence.
Last edit: 19 Aug 2016 19:06 by shadar.

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19 Aug 2016 19:15 - 19 Aug 2016 19:15 #49722 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Suicide Squad
It is common in several industries that I've worked and consulted in as well --- from car manufacturers to resort and hospitality. "Wooden nickels" are the GAO's best friend at certain organizations. ::P:

With respect to this, as well as the speculation of box office numbers, it reminds me of the joke where the CEO asks his head bean counter/actuary 'what do the numbers show?' and the statistician looks back at him, shuts the door, closes the blinds and responds "what do you want the numbers to show?"
Last edit: 19 Aug 2016 19:15 by lfan.

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19 Aug 2016 19:21 #49724 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Suicide Squad

lfan wrote: It is common in several industries that I've worked and consulted in as well --- from car manufacturers to resort and hospitality. "Wooden nickels" are the GAO's best friend at certain organizations. ::P:

With respect to this, as well as the speculation of box office numbers, it reminds me of the joke where the CEO asks his head bean counter/actuary 'what do the numbers show?' and the statistician looks back at him, shuts the door, closes the blinds and responds "what do you want the numbers to show?"


In very large multi-national companies, this is absolutely true. Been there. Nations try to legislate this stuff and sign treaties and the like, but that simply narrows the window for this kind of stuff, and doesn't eliminate it

From everything I read, the movie industry might be the worst industry out there for what I would call "directed accounting".

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19 Aug 2016 19:36 #49727 by jdrock24
Replied by jdrock24 on topic Suicide Squad

kikass2014 wrote: While this is true to a certain extent, I think its fair to say that most avid film buffs can make educated guess at what that point is, based on factors known.


That's the whole point of my post! It is still just a "guess". And since when does a "film buff" know all about the various accounting tricks studios use to get movies made? Their "guesses" are no more valid than any random person on the street.

Good to know. Didn't know I was talking out of my @$$ and didn't know anything. Thank you.


If you are making the claim that your guess is somehow superior to everyone else because you are a "film buff", then I don't know what to tell you. :laugh:

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19 Aug 2016 19:42 #49728 by jdrock24
Replied by jdrock24 on topic Suicide Squad

lfan wrote: It is common in several industries that I've worked and consulted in as well --- from car manufacturers to resort and hospitality. "Wooden nickels" are the GAO's best friend at certain organizations. ::P:

With respect to this, as well as the speculation of box office numbers, it reminds me of the joke where the CEO asks his head bean counter/actuary 'what do the numbers show?' and the statistician looks back at him, shuts the door, closes the blinds and responds "what do you want the numbers to show?"


Exactly!

It always amazes me when these big companies can go to their investors, show them their financials, and say "Look at our profits! We're the greatest company in history!" However, using those same figures, can go to the tax man and say "We made no money. We're poor. Therefore, we don't owe you a thing."

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20 Aug 2016 02:16 #49734 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Suicide Squad

That's the whole point of my post! It is still just a "guess".


Thank you Captain Obvious. Never have I said the figures were fact. I think I actually mentioned that all this is best guess territory. NOBODY is saying these are facts.

And since when does a "film buff" know all about the various accounting tricks studios use to get movies made?


You do realise people in the industry talk outside of it and about it right? You do realise there are books written about making films? The movie industry is not some CIA-esque, shadowy, cloak-and-dagger business. And no amount of “accounting tricks” can make a $200 million dollar film cost $2.15 on the books.

Their "guesses" are no more valid than any random person on the street.


No, not really. I’ll give you a simple example. The guess of an “expert” surely carries more validity then a random person on the street? Sure, neither of them can be 100% correct, since it is a guess. But who would you be more inclined to side with?

If you are making the claim that your guess is somehow superior to everyone else because you are a "film buff", then I don't know what to tell you.


Didn't make that claim.

Peace.

/K

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21 Aug 2016 02:01 #49749 by fats
Replied by fats on topic Suicide Squad
I've soft deleted the last three replies to this thread, the thread is getting a little uncivil if it continues to be that way I'll lock the thread to new posts.

Remember to be civil to one another.

Fats
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29 Aug 2016 15:41 #49883 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Suicide Squad
Just passed 630M worldwide, as per BoxOfficeMojo:

www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=dc2016.htm

ElF
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29 Aug 2016 19:15 - 01 Sep 2016 22:22 #49886 by castor
Replied by castor on topic Suicide Squad

lfan wrote: Just passed 630M worldwide, as per BoxOfficeMojo:

www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=dc2016.htm

ElF


oh you beat me to it!! Darn you!!!

Said i would update my stats and i have



Suicide Squad has now made more money then Half of Marvel movies. its made more money then Thor, AntMan and yes the First Two Iron movies that started it. Its made more domestically then Winter Solder though foreign sales means its overall a bit less overall.

Its right now in its forth week about 10 million dollars from Thor 2: Dark World-and is almostly certainly going to pass it by next week(the big story in the second week was a drop off, but its actually keeping its money well in the last 3). There is a decent chance its going to make more then the First Man of Steel., maybe a small chance it does as well as Winter Soldier.

Profitiability wise-its made more then any of the DC movies-which is still just okay compared to the Marvel tends, but good. Its close here to Iron Man 2 (which had a lower budget)


But yes it is a more profitable movie overall then the First Iron Man Movie that started the series.

Going to see where this keeps going, especially as foreign markets lag in. Its probabbly not going to make top top numbers-there is a big ways before it makes avengers money-but as the first movie in a series its done pretty damm well-the only movie that really beats it is GOTG.

All this on a movie that was largely sold on A Female Protaginist.

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Last edit: 01 Sep 2016 22:22 by castor.

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29 Aug 2016 19:40 #49887 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Suicide Squad
Another interesting note to mention is that the foreign box office numbers are without the benefit of both Japan and China currently, two of the better overseas markets (which together accounted for over $100M for both SM2 and Guardians of the Galaxy)

I think Suicide Squad is getting a Japanese release in the next month, but I thought I read that China has passed on its release.

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01 Sep 2016 03:05 #49984 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Suicide Squad
CinemaBlend forecasting 700M+ when all is said and done for Suicide Squad. Not bad for a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes....LOL

www.cinemablend.com/news/1551310/how-muc...eaves-movie-theaters

ElF

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01 Sep 2016 11:29 #49991 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Suicide Squad
Certainly admirable, and most definatly more then I thought it would pull in. But not without precedent :p

Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen ---- (RT Score) 19% ---- (BO Gross) = $836,303,693 :S

Transformers: Age of Extinction ---- (RT Score) 18% ---- (BO Gross) = $1,104,054,072 :blink:

Castor called it pretty good, saying it would probably reach $100 million in profit. And depending on what source you believe, it is either in the black or slightly in the red (a source from WB has been quoted as SS needing $750 million to break even, but that depends on if you believe the source as legit).

Peace.

/K
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01 Sep 2016 13:29 - 01 Sep 2016 13:31 #49994 by lfan
Replied by lfan on topic Suicide Squad

kikass2014 wrote: Certainly admirable, and most definatly more then I thought it would pull in. But not without precedent :p


Never said it was :)

kikass2014 wrote: Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen ---- (RT Score) 19% ---- (BO Gross) = $836,303,693 :S

Transformers: Age of Extinction ---- (RT Score) 18% ---- (BO Gross) = $1,104,054,072 :blink:


WOW! So that's why they keep churning them out! I'm probably in the minority, but I think Transformers is probably the crappiest and worst movie franchise of alltime.

kikass2014 wrote: Castor called it pretty good, saying it would probably reach $100 million in profit. And depending on what source you believe, it is either in the black or slightly in the red
(a source from WB has been quoted as SS needing $750 million to break even, but that depends on if you believe the source as legit).


While I'm certainly not in the boardroom, I find it very hard to believe that almost any movie would have to do 4X of BO-Budget to "break even". I understand the economies of scale (or lack thereof) from the foreign box offices, and I understand the studio doesn't rake 100% of the money, but that seems high to me. Like with most things in life and what I tell my kids, nothing is as good or as bad as you think it is --- it's somewhere in between. Except Gravity.....no one can convince me that Gravity wasn't as bad as I thought it was. ::P:

I have no clue where I read it, but I did read somewhere that an estimator that studios use on how much revenue a movie ultimately makes (over a 10 year span) for a studio is to multiply the worldwide BO by 1.25. This supposedly factors in negative things like worldwide BO revenue splits (i.e. studio only makes 25% of what the movie makes in Russia) as well as positive things like DVD sales, licensing to pay per view, overseas distribution deals, etc. Again, don't know the "science" of it or if its accurate, but I remember reading it somewhere on the Internet.....so it MUST be true! ::P:

ElF
Last edit: 01 Sep 2016 13:31 by lfan.

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01 Sep 2016 16:47 #50002 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Suicide Squad

I'm probably in the minority, but I think Transformers is probably the crappiest and worst movie franchise of all time.


I am right there with you buddy. Transformers is a stinking pile of horseshit and Micheal Bay is probably one of the worst directors ever :)

While I'm certainly not in the boardroom, I find it very hard to believe that almost any movie would have to do 4X of BO-Budget to "break even".


Determining the break-even point of a film from the outside is most certainly guess-timation territory for sure, as there are so many variables to account for. One thing is to assume that with big films like this, the production budget, as listed, is just to make the film. More than likely the advertising budget for a film like this (according to some sources) is in the region of $175 – 200 million.

With that in mind, you are looking at the film needing to recoup (let’s take the high end) $375 million to break-even. So at $700 million that’s only 2X its production cost, not 4X (I’ve met investors that required a 10x return on projects before they invest).

Like you say, the studio does not get the entire takings. Domestic is 50% (approx.) and foreign varies from 40% to 25% (approx.) depending on region. Let’s assume 50% both home and away, ignoring regional variation.

It also gets slightly more complicated with certain actors/directors/producers. Like Tom Cruise, for example, gets 1-2% of the total box office gross. I don’t know what Will Smith’s contract states, so this could be moot point. But it would mean they make less at the box office in terms of profit if he does have a similar clause. The rest of the cast and crew I would imagine don’t have the star power to demand such a clause.

So, assuming no actor/director/producer clauses, napkin math shows $700,000,000 / 2 = $375,000,000

Thus, SS, at this moment in time, is on the break-even point or slightly in the black. Which is good in that it did not lose money, but bad in that it did not return any money to the investors.

Factoring in DVD/BR sales, merchandise licensing, etc. (again studios do not get the entire share), let’s say they make $100,000,000 - $200,000,000. That’s the profit from the SS film. Which is why I said Castor was pretty close when he called it.

Again, this is not science, just guesses and logical deductions based on known facts.

Peace.

/K

P.S.

Except Gravity.....no one can convince me that Gravity wasn't as bad as I thought it was. ::P:


An interesting discussion I would like to have with you one day about how bad you thought it was and why :P

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01 Sep 2016 16:51 #50003 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Suicide Squad
This is what I call "Hollywood Accounting"

How is it possible for a movie that makes over what you spent on it to be considered a flop?

Years ago there was a Eddie Murphy movie called "Coming to America"
It was a huge hit.
A famous journalist, whose name escapes me, sued the producers claiming they stole the idea he pitched to them.
The production company accountants "proved" the movie made no money and the case was dropped.

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01 Sep 2016 17:20 #50006 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Suicide Squad

How is it possible for a movie that makes over what you spent on it to be considered a flop?


Investor thinking goes something like this:

As an investor I have $10 to invest. Product A says I will make $50 return if I invest $10. Product B says I will make $100 return if I invest $10.

1) I invest $10 in Product A and make $50. Success.
2) I invest $10 in Product B and make $30. Fail.

In both cases I made more then I put in. But if I had invested in Product A I would have made MORE, even though the top end return was lower.

A crude example for sure, but I hope it illustrates the point.

Peace.

/K
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