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Snow White and the Huntsman Chris Hemsworth Kristen StewartSnow White and the Huntsman profitable? (See previous article: "Budget Recovered? SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN." Above photo: Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman and Kristen Stewart as Snow White.) [Addendum: This two-part article has been revised and updated. Please check out SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN box office vs. budget.]

Without China, can Snow White and the Huntsman ever recoup its budget for the studio? Not only it can, but it will. In fact, Sanders' film should easily be able to recover even the extra $80m-$90m the studio likely spent marketing / distributing it. (As a rule of thumb, marketing / distribution costs amount to about half of a film's budget – though those figures can vary widely.)

According to a recent study in the United Kingdom, last year only 24 percent of British film revenues came from (apparently domestic) box office receipts. For a blockbuster such as the Anglo-American co-production Sherlock Holmes, the breakdown was 57 percent for box office / TV / cable / satellite and 43 percent for DVD / Blu-ray / digital.

Of course, those percentages vary from country to country, but let's use a really conservative figure for Snow White and the Huntsman: 50 percent box office , 50 percent everything else. In both cases, worldwide earnings.

At this point in time, that would mean another $355 million in ancillary revenues for the Universal release. Even if the studio gets only half of that amount*, or about $177.5 million, that would be more than enough to cover the little that's left of the budget, in addition to the studio's marketing / distribution expenses. In that scenario, Universal would ultimately be left with significant earnings: even after deducting expenses for the marketing / distribution of DVDs, etc., the studio would collect around $50m.

Once again, these are "speculative estimates." The point I'm making is that Universal will recover its investment on Snow White and the Huntsman – plus (sizable) change. That helps to explain why Snow White and the Huntsman 2 is in the works.

Snow White and the Huntsman top international markets

Snow White and the Huntsman's top foreign markets are the following (figures up to July 8): the United Kingdom with $23.43 million, Japan with $18.14 million, Australia with $15.97 million, Mexico with $15.82 million, France with $13.42 million, Germany with $13.2 million, Japan with $10.93 million, Russia/CIS with $12.56 million, Brazil with $12.31 million, and Spain with $10.72m.

Besides the aforementioned Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, and Sam Claflin, the Snow White and the Huntsman cast includes Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Eddie Marsan, Ray Winstone, Vincent Regan, Noah Huntley, Nick Frost, Rachael Stirling, and Toby Jones. The screenplay was credited to Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, and Hossein Amini.

* Note: Studios spend less on marketing / distributing DVDs than big-screen releases. Also worth noting is that their cut of the grosses from DVD sales is considerably larger, about 66 percent – at least in the domestic market. And remember that a percentage of the money Universal and co-producing company Roth Films earn will have to be (however reluctantly) handed to the talent getting a share of the Snow White and the Huntsman's gross / rentals.

Box office information: Box Office Mojo.

Kristen Stewart Snow White / Snow White and the Huntsman 2012 picture: Alex Bailey / Universal Pictures.

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6 Comments to SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN Box Office Profitable?

  1. Summeriris

    Interestig analysis but I have to agree with Don and not with luacheia99 . in the UK at least. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN was very highly marketed. There were TV spots on every single channel, it even sposored a show on the Scifi Channel. that cost signifigantly more that billboards, though it was up on quite a few of those. It hink the marketing costs were on the heavy side to tell the truth. So yes, maybe it is a success as far as the Twilight fans are concerned, unfortunatedly it's not that populatr with at teast half of the people who saw it. Those reviews panning it are just about half.

  2. Freya

    What are the calculations for? SWATH is not a flop but it is not a huge success either. They have budget of 225 mln with marketing and they obviously hoped for more than 350+ mln (I doubt there is a chance to reach 400 mln). There were so much investments in the movie (I mean not only money), everyone was talking about SWATH sometime around, and it still struggling to break even. Only Kristen Stewart's fans claim it's a success. Look at the other summer blockbusters - The Amazing Spiderman, Men in black 4, Ted (not to mention The Avengers) - they are really successful but SWATH is somewhere in the middle, it just didn't live up to the buzz.

  3. luacheia99


    Yeah... I agree with you! We don't have more quality movie been made for lack of money that Studios are putting in one only bag of eggs. For me it is a pity and a sad thing. I reduced hugely the quantity of movies I see per year for lack of what to see.
    Most of the American indie movies don't get distribution. So... I miss the opportunity of see them... :(
    As well... The European and Latino productions are almost zero now a days... We are buried in a huge amount of male teen blockbusters, some comedies and only a few movies that brings something!
    It has to end! 150/250M budget movies are insane! It is nuts! The industry is a wreck route to collective financial suicide. It seems each time more like a Russian roulette!

  4. jo

    @luacheia99, i think the days of studios making films on a modest budget are getting few and far in between. why studios need to feel like they have to spend so much to make a movie is beyond me. there have been many great modest budgeted movies that go on to make their budget plus profit. it's sad because many indie flims are struggling to get made, and studios pass on them to make crap like guinness world book of records the movie, and yes they are actually making that into a movie

  5. zac


    As always, thanks for writing.

    The "40% cut" takes into account the fact that the Hollywood majors usually distribute their own movies abroad. But again, that's the "common wisdom," in other words, the percentage you see mentioned everywhere. How accurate that is, it's impossible to tell unless one checks the studios' accounting documentation for each of their films.

    But remember, international releases will accrue local fees/taxes, in addition to the cut of the local distributor / exhibitors. That's one key reason why the Hollywood majors' international cut is lower than their domestic one.

    More "common wisdow": the 50% of the production budget spent on marketing / distribution. That percentage surely varies widely, depending on how big (or small) a film's budget.

    Now, I'd say chances are that a movie with a (reported) $170m budget will propel its studio to spend more than $50m in marketing.

    For comparison's sake: the reported marketing budget for the most recent "Paranormal Activity" movie was $25m. How could Universal only spend twice as much on a movie that (officially) cost 170 times what PA cost?

    Unless I see hard data somewhere that show a smaller amount, I'd bet on the $85m-$90m estimate. When you invest that much money ($170m) on a movie, you do want -- you *need* -- huge returns. Marketing is the key to achieve that goal, especially considering that a film's box-office success will radically affect ancillary sales.

    But again, the only way to know for sure how much $$$$ was spent on "Snow White and the Huntsman": an in-depth examination of Universal's accounting department...

    Once again, thanks for writing, luacheia99.

  6. luacheia99


    I think the international earn will be a lot more then 40% because it was mostly distributed by Universal Picture International. In 60 countries, I saw maybe only 5 different distributors, the rest it was made by UPI.

    Beside it I don't think it spent between 70/80 M in marketing. I saw numbers around 50M or less in some sites and analyzes. Basically because it had a very good viral campaign but it was mostly a viral online campaign and just two premieres that had good sponsors, in London and Sidney. Mega installations were only seen in US and UK.

    In most countries as in Brazil the marketing campaign for any movie is ridiculous. It is mostly posters and card-boards in the cinemas and in some road back-lights. I also saw an online trailer campaign on YouTube, nothing more.

    I don't think this kind of campaign are very expensive...

    The movie will add until its ends more 5M or so, making a domestic total of 155M, At foreign BO, at least more 20M minimum but if it goes well in Italy it can make 25M. How? Well it made 14.8M last week/weekend, this week (not including Italy) it will make at least more 7M and the next week/weekend after, more 3M. Soooo it can ending its course with at least more 10/13M plus more 7/12M from Italy.

    So... 355M plus a domestic 5M plus foreign 17/25M... We could say it probably will end its course earning between 377M to 385M.

    Lets put it around 380M.

    With UPI distributing internationally, Universal cut is probably 50% in the foreign BO also.

    So... It would be returning around 190M to pay the 170M production budget and a good part of the 50M marketing budget with the another 20M.

    The profit will be sure and good!

    For a 2D fairytale, not franchise or an adaptation of a book with a rabbit fan base... It did really good!

    But... Please GOD, make these Studios nut budgets trend stop! Movie goers want good movies, they don't care if it is made by 17 or 170 M. A 170 M budget for any movie is sick! Totally nuts!

    A movie that makes this kind of money is a huge success, not a phenomenon but a huge success! Doesn't matter if a crazy executive decision made it almost impossible of be profitable! It is a lot of tickets! I saw that some fans of Kristen Stewart saw it from 4 to 17 times. Can you imagine that? I saw it 3 times!


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