Mike Fleming

Hobbit Desolation Of Smaug Hunger Games Catching Fire ProfitThe final eight films in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster movie tournament face off today. This is the second 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.

DeadlineBracket_2ndRound

Hunger-Games-HobbitThe Matchup: There are similarities here that go beyond each of these being the second installment of huge global franchises. How huge? MGM, which was frozen in suspended animation not that long ago, is flush and considering an IPO because of the fortunes derived from its share of The Hobbit franchise, and James Bond. On the other side, The Hunger Games is doing for Lionsgate what The Twilight Saga did for its merger partner, Summit Entertainment. It is driving the fortunes of those combined companies, emboldening its creative team to take chances on building new YA franchises as it did with the weekend’s top-grossing film Divergent.

The Box Score: Here is how the films compare in revenue, ancillary projections and profits.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugThe Bottom Line: Both of these are easy to like. As many feel was the case with storied franchises including The Terminator, Star Wars and The Lord Of The Rings, many people feel that the second installment of these films improved on their first efforts, which is how it should be once you get the mythology out of the way in the opening installment. The revenue profiles are different: The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug had a $258 million domestic gross that was dwarfed by its $611.7 million overseas take and another $74.7 million from China, while The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was the year’s biggest domestic grossing film with $424 million (10th best all time) after becoming the top-grossing Thanksgiving weekend opening ever, and the best-ever weekend for November. It grossed $440 million overseas. It made more domestic and worldwide than any of the Twilight Saga films.

Jennifer Lawrence Hunger Games

Hobbit 2 had a net production cost of $260 million, with another $155 million for P&A, while Hunger Games bore a $130 million price tag in net production costs, with $50 million to release it domestically. Lionsgate pre-sold it overseas, which lessened risk but cost it profit. Hobbit 2’s gross revenue was $795.6 million, but all of the rights payments and participations and overhead cut into the pie. Its profit was $134.1 million. Contrast that to Hunger Games, which had total gross revenues of $562 million, significantly less than Hobbit 2, but which generated $294.9 million in profits. Its Total Cash On Cash Return was 2.10 against Hobbit 2’s 1.20.

The Winner: In an upset, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire moves on. According to our experts, it created more profit on significantly less worldwide global revenues.

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...