'Minions' Becomes Financial Blockbuster on Modest Expenses

   July 10, 2015-Universal Pictures animated film Minions shapes up as a financial blockbuster with an expected $100 million+ opening this weekend in the U.S./Canada, marketing carried by low-cost promotions (as opposed to paid advertising) and relatively low production cost. The PG-rated family film premieres today domestically.
   Says a Bloomberg News Service article, “The studio has decorated theaters with giant Minions, put yellow labels on half a billion
McDonald's restaurants are festooned with the impish yellow Minions characters

Chiquita bananas and joined with more companies than ever, including Inc., General Mills Inc., McDonald’s Corp., studio parent Comcast Corp. and Snapchat Inc. Partners alone have delivered $593 million in ads and promotions, Universal said… Of the partners’ $593 million in spending, less than half was for ads such as TV and print, the rest being the estimated value of promotions, for example using Minions on cereal boxes, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not be identified discussing non-public information. Universal isn’t disclosing its own additional marketing costs.”
   The outlay of measured national paid advertising for Minions was moderate, except for a pricy Super Bowl commercial (probably bought because Universal Pictures corporate sibling NBC Television carried the Super Bowl game). The Bloomberg article by Anousha Sakoui and Chris Palmeri peg the national ad spending for Minions at $23.4 Million through July 8, which is slightly lower than average pre-release ad spend for a major studio film going into wide release in a peak season.
   Minions is from Universal’s animation house Illumination Entertainment (producer of Minions’ source movie Despicable Me), which generally makes full-length animated movies at around $75 million—or half the cost of a Disney-Pixar or DreamWorks Animation movie. The Bloomberg story reports Minions cost just $74 million to make, which enhances its profitabily profile.
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