Penguins of Madagascar

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  • Directed By: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
  • Written By: Michael Colton, John Aboud, Brandon Sawyer
  • Release Date: November 26, 2014
  • Domestic Distributor: FOX
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, John Malkovich

Box Office Info:
Budget: $132 millionFinanced by: DreamWorks Animation
Domestic Box Office: $83,298,585Overseas Box Office: $290,201,183


DreamWorks Animation financed Penguins of Madagascar and the film was distributed through their output deal with FOX, which fronts the P&A spend and receives an 8% fee for distributing.  The budget for Penguins of Madagascar was $132 million and it pulled in $373.4M worldwide — but the old adage of doubling your budget to break even does not apply here, since the film had a huge P&A spend around the cost of its budget.  DreamWorks Animation took a massive $57.1 million write-down on Penguins of Madagascar, ending their difficult 2014 after they saw Mr. Peabody & Sherman flop earlier in the year and also post a $57 million loss.  Along with Penguin‘s impairment charge for the quarter, DreamWorks Animation also took a write down of $54.6 million for layoffs, and $155.5 million from unreleased movies B.O.O. and Monkeys Of Mumbai.

Penguins of Madagascar was originally dated for March 27, 2015 but DreamWorks swapped the release dates for the spinoff and their feature Home and moved it forward to the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday frame.  Penguins bowed against Horrible Bosses 2, the nationwide expansion of The Theory Of Everything and would compete for auds with Big Hero 6 — which was still going strong in its fourth weekend.  Reviews were mixed.

The studio was hoping for a $45 – $49 million 5-day cume, but Penguins of Madagascar came in way below expectations with $35,438,847 for the 5 days — placing #2 behind holdover The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.  It had weak legs and sank 57.1% in its second frame to $10,907,030.  A modest 33.9% third weekend decline to $7,206,293, was not enough to offset the weak numbers and the domestic run closed with $83,298,585.

Overseas, the film pulled in a very solid $290.2 million.  DreamWorks Animation would see returned about $205.3M of the global gross after theaters take their percentage of the gross.

3 Comments

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  1. This film would have recovered its production costs ($162.62 million vs $130 million production budget), but left a lot of the huge marketing spend in the red.

  2. Should’ve leave the March date alone, so they can battled out with Universal’s Minions (released three months later) for the box office spinoff race!!!

  3. If DreamWorks didn’t spend so much on P&A and if it got more money at the domestic box office, this movie would’ve been a hit.

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