Solo: A Star Wars StoryIt’s fairly common knowledge that Hollywood seems to be obsessed with making big-budget franchise films over original stories that generally cost much less to produce. In fact, the studios seem to be doing this so often, I thought it would be a pretty good idea to show you a few of the box office bombs that came out in 2018. These include...

  • Robin Hood (Lionsgate Studio): Cost $100 million and got back $30 million at the box office. 
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (Disney): Cost $250 million, but earned only $214 million.
  • Tomb Raider (Warner Brothers): Cost $100 million and received a little over $58 million in return. 
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising (Universal): Cost $150 million but grossed around $60 million.

Now, at face value, it seems somewhat silly that these Hollywood studios would want to lie down such large sums of money that may not make back their initial investment. But, upon closer inspection, and you’ll find out that they do have their reasons. Quite a few reasons, to be more precise, and here are three of the most popular.

1) Reduce Risk of Flops 

Despite losing a huge chunk of change on “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, Disney hit it big with the top three grossing films of 2018. Namely... 

  • Black Panther: Which grossed over $700 million and overshadowed its $200 million budget.
  • Avengers: Infinity War: Which had a gross of almost $700 million and a budget of close to $400 million
  • Incredibles 2: Which eclipsed its $200 million budget with a take of over $600 million

Avengers: Infinity War
So, as you can see from these statistics, Disney more than made up for its “Star Wars” shortfall by over a billion dollars, and even though it was a fairly high-stakes gamble, it still paid off at the box office, big time! Universal also did well with “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”, which was the fourth highest grossing film of 2018, with a $150 million budget and a gross of over $400 million (more than making up for its risky loss). 

Atomic Blonde”, on the other hand, was a spy film executive produced by David Guillod, with a budget of $30 million, a U.S. gross of just over $50 million, and a worldwide gross of $100 million. In addition to being an executive producer on many other successful productions, such as “The Intruder”, Mr. Guillod is also an accomplished talent manager, who has helped influence the careers of stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Sean “Daddy” Combs, and Katie Holmes

Atomic Blonde
2) Reach Out to Worldwide Audiences 

As a general rule, franchise films usually tell stories with a more widespread appeal, whereas smaller independent movies specific to a culture don’t always translate well to a foreign market. Therefore, it generally pays considerably better to make movies that have more universal appeal, movies with a lot of action, a lot of star power, but not a lot of complex dialogue which may be misconstrued to a foreign audience. Conversely, the foreign market can also make up for movies that fail at home, such as “Battleship”, for instance, which lost big in the U.S. with a $209 million budget and a gross of $65 million. But worldwide, the Liam Neeson movie brought in over $235 million, saving the day once again for Universal.

Battleship featuring sexy Rihanna
3) Add Revenue through Licensing Agreements

On average, nigh on every single successful Hollywood franchise offers the opportunity to make more money by licensing their brands to merchandisers. Heck, just take a look at Disney, for example, because they earned almost $57 billion in 2016 from licensed merchandise alone, which goes to show that even in a high-stakes game, the movie market is an increasingly global market with the opportunity for even higher rewards.


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