The Avengers has just found a place among the all-time five highest-grossing movies in America as the still-mounting domestic box-office total passed $460 million. The Hunger Games currently sits at number 14 on that all-time list with a domestic take of $391 million. Of course, those numbers don't include international box office, which in The Avengers' case already brings the grand total to well over $1 billion. And don't forget DVD sales, theme park tie-ins, and a hundred other sources of revenue. The profit on on a hit movie of this size is very hard to estimate, though some people try.
But these successes have been balanced by two gargantuan failures in 2012. Both John Carter and the just-opened Battleship were made with budgets in the same astonishing $200 million range as The Avengers, but tanked at the box office. Widely accepted estimates say that John Carter and Battleship will each lose around $150 million when all is said and done. John Carter's failure was so painful, it led directly to the resignation of Disney CEO Rich Ross last month. And according to multiple stories out today, Battleship creator NBCUniversal is now in the position of saying it's "standing by" its executive team, which is not what you want to hear on the radio when you're stuck in L.A. traffic on the way to work at Universal.
Universal's latest blockbuster, the surprisingly dark-looking Snow White and the Huntsman, has a budget estimated at $175 million. It arrives in theaters next Friday, June 1st. There are going to be some sleepless nights happening in Hollywood over Memorial Day weekend.