While it’s been predicted for awhile now that Roland Emmerich’s belated sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence would come in second to Pixar’s Finding Dory at the domestic box office this weekend – which indeed came to pass – less certain was how the alien invasion blockbuster would fare internationally. After all, more than one high-profile popcorn sci-fi action flick has been carried into profitability by overseas markets after underperforming at home.
Well, the verdict is now in regarding the Independence Day sequel’s worldwide box office opening, and it’s unlikely to cause too much celebrating over at 20th Century Fox. For the time being, it would appear as though Emmerich’s planned third installment in the series isn’t a surefire thing after all.
In addition to the estimated $41.6 million Resurgence earned from its domestic opening weekend, the sequel has hauled in an additional $102.1 million internationally, according to Deadline. While that sounds like a lot of money on paper, Resurgence’s reported production budget is in the neighborhood of $165 million, meaning that its $143.7 million worldwide total still comes up well short of making back what Fox spent on the film. Of course, that’s not including the equally mammoth marketing budget that studios usually spend on their tentpoles. While exact figures on what that cost is aren’t publicly available, the number is no doubt quite high.
A general rule regarding studio productions is that a film needs to at least double its budget to break even, although that’s hardly a one size fits all proposition. With movies generally going down by at least 50% week to week at the box office, it’s now very hard to imagine Resurgence turning a profit for Fox, at least not in theaters. After all, the sequel could earn an additional $100 million worldwide for the next three weeks, and still have just barely crossed the “double budget” line. Realistically though, that’s probably a best case scenario, and there’s a good chance that Resurgence will end up earning far less than $100 million worldwide in its second weekend, much less its third or fourth.
On the other hand, theater grosses aren’t the only factor in a film turning a profit. This type of effects-heavy blockbuster tends to sell well on Blu-ray and DVD, as they make a fun demo disc for showcasing the joys of a properly configured home theater set-up. Still, if Fox does decide to move forward on Independence Day 3, it’s unlikely that Emmerich would have as big a budget to draw from as he did on Resurgence.
Independence Day: Resurgence is in theaters now.