The Big Picture
- The Marvels, with its massive budget assigned by Disney, will need to make around $550 million at the box office to turn a profit.
- The production expenses for The Marvels amounted to $274.8 million, but were reduced to $219.8 million after a government subsidy of $55 million provided by the UK.
- The UK government’s Film Tax Relief scheme allows studios to receive a cash reimbursement of up to 25% of their UK production expenditures. The Marvels benefitted from this scheme.
The box office for The Marvels is going to need to fly higher, further and faster than ever before to recoup the massive budget assigned to the movie by Disney, as the company has recently disclosed. The Marvel Cinematic Universe outing which will star Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris and Iman Vellani serves as a sequel to Captain Marvel, WandaVision and Ms. Marvel.
These financial details were made public through corporate documents released by a Disney subsidiary responsible for the movie’s production. As is the standard, the production company used a codename, the purpose of which is to effective disguise what’s going on when filming in the United Kingdom. Disney chose the codename “Warbird Productions II UK” as a fun throwback to Carol Danvers’ warplane from Captain Marvel.
While a portion of The Marvels unfolds in outer space, the bulk of the filming took place at Pinewood Studios and Longcross Studios, both situated in the vicinity of London. Additional scenes were captured on location in Italy and the United States. The production successfully concluded in May of the previous year, with the most recent financial statements being compiled approximately four months thereafter.
These records cover a two-year period, starting from the company’s formation and extending until September 30, 2022. During this timeframe, the production expenses amounted to $274.8 million (£221.8 million). Notably, the production also benefited from a government subsidy of $55 million (£44.4 million) provided by the United Kingdom, where the film was primarily shot. As a result of this subsidy, the net expenditure for the movie was reduced to $219.8 million, still a hefty number.
The standard multiplier when taking marketing and additional costs, as well as exhibitor shares of ticket sales, means a movie tends to require 2.5x its budget in order to return a profit from box office alone, which means The Marvels will need to hit around $550 million before it’s in the black. Captain Marvel grossed $1.1 billion on its release in 2019, but that was a different time when the MCU was at its creative and reputational high, in between Avengers: Infinity Way and Avengers: Endgame. Disney has been stung twice already this year, as seen with the returns on Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania which grossed a disappointing $476.1 million, while Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny only grossed $382.9 million, resulting in a $100 million loss for the company.
Why Did ‘The Marvels’ Get Such a Hefty Rebate on Its Budget?
Usually the budgets of films are kept quiet,
with studios incorporating the expenses of individual films into their broader financial reports without breaking down the specific costs. However, there is an exception to this norm when it comes to movies produced in the United Kingdom, and The Marvels falls into this category.
In the UK, studios are willing to embrace a higher degree of transparency due to the advantages offered by the government’s Film Tax Relief scheme. This initiative grants studios a cash reimbursement of up to 25% of their expenditures within the UK, provided that these expenses constitute at least 10% of the total production costs for the film.
The initial reporting on this came via Forbes.