Mike Fleming

Fast & Furious 6 Despicable Me 2 ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the third of our quarterfinal matchups and for the first time we reveal the numbers behind the numbers that show just how profitable a movie really is.

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Fast6-Despicable-meThe Matchup: This amounts to an internal skirmish within Universal Pictures, between the studio’s most dependable franchise and its next one. Can Gru and a bunch of adorable minions in Despicable Me 2 outmuscle the muscle cars and cast of Fast & Furious 6 including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jason Statham and Tyrese? Luckily for the Minions, this doesn’t involve bench-pressing. Game On.

The Box Score: Here is how the two films project in revenue and costs.

Vin Diesel

The Bottom Line: Fast 6 got here by besting another animated film in the #11 seed The Croods. Despicable Me 2 cruised past #14 film Star Trek Into Darkness. While Despicable Me 2 showed significant improvement over its first film, Fast 6 has steadily built its gross, to the point where its sixth film was the highest grosser both domestically and overseas. But here is where the Minions deliver a beat-down. Fast 6’s $788.7 million in global box office came at a high price. The net production cost was $260 million, per our experts, and tack on another $105 million for global P&A and $34 million in talent participations. Contrast that to Despicable Me 2’s $970.7 million in global box office, on a $76 million budget and even with $144.5 million in global P&A costs, and it is not hard to see why Comcast CEO Steve Burke has called Despicable Me 2 the most profitable Universal film of all time. It also is the third-highest-grossing Universal film of all time on the domestic front — E.T. and Jurassic Park beat it — and second-biggest despicable_me_2global grosser behind Jurassic Park, which enjoyed a 3D rerelease.

Winner: Fast & Furious 6’s total gross revenues were $678 million, but its high budget and participations left its profit at $135.1 million to Universal, earning a Total Cash On Cash Return of 1.25. Despicable Me 2’s $868 million total gross revenue amounted to a $394.5 million profit margin for Universal, and a Total Cash on Cash Return of 1.83. The Minions move on to the Final Four.

SWEET 16 RESULTS

#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’
#4 ‘Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’
#5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’
#6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

For more estimates listed by title, see box office results here...