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Megamind Box Office: DreamWorks’ Money-Losing Global Blockbuster

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Megamind movie Will Ferrell characterMegamind movie image: Will Ferrell voices the supervillainous title character in one of the year’s (costliest) top hits; David Cross voices the subservient Minion.
  • Megamind box office: DreamWorks Animation/Paramount Pictures’ supervillain 3D comedy is about to become one of the year’s biggest hits. But will that be enough to make the mega-budget Megamind profitable?

Megamind box office: DreamWorks Animation’s supervillain 3D comedy on its way to becoming one of year’s biggest hits – and yet…

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Nov. 5–7 weekend box office: Directed by Tom McGrath, and featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Brad Pitt, DreamWorks Animation/Paramount Pictures’ computer-animated 3D comedy Megamind topped the North American (U.S. and Canada only) box office chart with $46 million from 3,944 theaters as per final studio figures found at

A “mega-hit” as some have claimed?

Not so fast.

Budgeted at a reported $130 million (as always, not including marketing and distribution expenses), Megamind earned about $1.5 million less than the studios’ Sunday estimates and $2–$9 million less than box office pundits had been predicting.

Something else: Megamind’s per-theater average was a good, though hardly extraordinary, $12,082 per venue – a figure that looks even less impressive when one considers that about two-thirds of the animated movie’s take originated at 3D and/or IMAX houses, where tickets can cost up to 40 percent more than regular ones.

Megamind vs. How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek Forever After & Despicable Me

Now some potentially good news for Megamind and its producing/distributing studios:

DreamWorks/Paramount’s How to Train Your Dragon opened with $43.7 million last spring. Though initially considered a “box office disappointment,” the animated 3D fantasy featuring the voices of Gerard Butler and Jay Baruchel ended its run with a remarkable $217.6 million in the domestic market and $277.3 million internationally. Budget: $165 million.

DreamWorks/Paramount’s second animated 3D feature of the year, Shrek Forever After debuted in mid-spring with $70.8 million (on opening weekends, sequels usually fare far better than original entries). Despite a number of negative reviews, this latest (and possibly last) Shrek movie went on to collect $238.7 million domestically and $513.9 million internationally. Budget: $165 million.

Universal Pictures’ animated 3D feature Despicable Me opened with $56.4 million in mid-summer. It went on to gross $251.6 million domestically and $291.6 million (updated final figure) internationally. Budget: Relatively speaking, a modest $69 million.

My point: Megamind may not have had a mega-opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada, but it’ll probably have a long life at the domestic box office and will in all likelihood make loads of money from Patagonia to Siberia.

Besides Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and two-time Oscar nominee Brad Pitt (12 Monkeys, 1995; The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, 2008), the Megamind voice cast also includes Jonah Hill, David Cross, J.K. Simmons, Ben Stiller, and Justin Theroux.

Global hit – but not enough to offset its hefty cost

Update: DreamWorks Animation/Paramount’s Megamind ultimately collected $148.4 million domestically and $173.5 million (likely incomplete) internationally. Worldwide total: $321.9 million.

That’s an imposing figure, though far less than the global totals earned by How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek Forever After, and Despicable Me, and far from enough for Megamind to recover its budget at the box office.

Its top international markets were Russia/CIS ($22 million), the United Kingdom/Ireland ($16 million), Australia ($15.8 million), Mexico ($14.2 million), France ($11.6 million), Brazil ($10.3 million), Spain ($9.8 million), Italy ($9.8 million), South Korea ($8.1 million), and Germany ($4.4 million).

Japan isn’t included on Box Office Mojo’s list.

Megamind Box Office: DreamWorks’ Money-Losing Global Blockbuster” notes

Over the Nov. 5–7 weekend, the no. 2 movie on the domestic box office chart was Todd Phillips’ comedy Due Date, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis.

Unless otherwise noted, “Megamind Box Office: DreamWorks’ Money-Losing Global Blockbuster” box office information via Box Office Mojo. Budget info – which should be taken with a grain of salt – via BOM and/or other sources (e.g., the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Screen Daily, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety,, etc.).

Comments about Megamind and other titles being hits/profitable or flops/money-losers at the box office (see paragraph below) are based on the available data about their production budget, additional marketing and distribution expenses (as a general rule of thumb, around 50 percent of the production cost), and worldwide gross (as a general rule of thumb when it comes to the Hollywood studios, around 50–55 percent of the domestic gross and 40 percent of the international gross goes to the distributing/producing companies).

Bear in mind that data regarding rebates, domestic/international sales/pre-sales, and other credits and/or contractual details that help to alleviate/split production costs and apportion revenues are oftentimes unavailable, and that reported international grosses may be incomplete (i.e., not every territory is fully – or even partially – accounted for).

Also bear in mind that ancillary revenues (domestic/global television rights, home video sales, streaming, merchandising, etc.) can represent anywhere between 40–70 percent of a movie’s total take. However, these revenues and their apportionment are only infrequently made public.

Megamind movie image: DreamWorks Animation | Paramount Pictures.

Megamind Box Office: DreamWorks’ Money-Losing Global Blockbuster” last updated in September 2023.

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