Universal Takes Writedown On “Huntsman”

Ouch. A new report in Variety indicates that Universal Pictures is set to take a bath of anywhere between $35-70 million on the failure of its big budget fairy tale feature “The Huntsman: Winter’s War”.

Universal does not provide a marketing and distribution budget for its films, but the film’s production budget was $115 million – that’s actually quite a bit cheaper than the $170 million the first film cost to make. Even so, the film opened to just $19.4 million at the U.S. box office last weekend, down 65% from the original.

It has grossed $98 million worldwide so far and is expected to close out at just over $200 million at the box-office, three-quarters of it from international markets. It’s estimated that in order to break even theatrically, assuming Universal spent around $70 million in marketing costs, it would have to earn approximately $325 million at the box-office.

Pay-TV deals and home entertainment sales will mitigate some of the damage, but even so – several rival studio executives are confident to proclaim the film a serious money-loser along with being a critical flop. Its predecessor “Snow White and the Huntsman” took in around $396 million during its theatrical run.