Time Warner And Viacom Take Box Office Hit Following Fox's 'Deadpool' Success
On paper going into the President's Day weekend, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOXA)'s "Deadpool" was expected to lead the field of new contenders, but not by the amount it earned.
Instead of pulling in $60 million to $70 million, the super-hero flick collected $130+ million in three days— four times more than the week's other new releases, Warner Bros. (Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX))'s "How To Be Single" and Paramount (Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB))'s "Zoolander 2," combined.
What's interesting and should be of note to investors is that it wasn't just "Deadpool" that gave Fox a sizable edge. The studio's distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation means the success of "Kung Fu Panda 3" benefits Fox as well. "Panda's" third film also topped "Single" and "Zoolander 2" with a second place finish, which is equally impressive for a movie that was at the time entering its third weekend of release.
Other Studios Lagged Behind
"Single," which was designed to take advantage of the Valentine's Day holiday was expected to hit in the $20 million range, but slipped to $18 million. Similarly "Zoolander 2" was expected to at least match the totals brought in by the original, but fell short.
Both films will see larger numbers when adding in the Monday holiday totals, but the point is these were not what investors expected. Instead of "Single" and "Zoolander 2" eating into "Deadpool's" profits, it was the other way around.
Warner Bros. thought "Single" would be great counter-programming and could lure away viewers, as was the case when the studio's "Cowboys & Aliens" lost ground to Universal's "Crazy, Stupid, Love" in 2011. This was a completely different case, as "Deadpool" is a completely different movie.
Paramount looks shaken the most though, as "Zoolander 2" pulled all sorts of unconventional marketing and PR activations to get the word out about the film. The studio tried to use the same roadmap as "Anchorman's" sequel did in 2014, but it didn't work and most of its target demo chose "Deadpool" as their weekend Valentine.
This isn't a massive loss for the Time Warner, however, as "Single" cost $37 million to produce; whereas Viacom greenlighted "Zoolander 2" with a higher budget ($50 million vs. $28 million) than the original only to see lower returns.
The result will make Paramount's upcoming one-two punch of "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" and "10 Cloverfield Lane" in March even more important to the company's quarterly result.
Image Credit: Public Domain
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