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The Huntsman: Winter’s War’s icy reception could cost its studio $70 million

Charlize Theron being told the opening weekend box office numbers

Winter is coming for the investors behind The Huntsman: Winter’s War. The Kristen Stewart-less sequel to the Kristen Stewart star vehicle Snow White And The Huntsman looked in the mirror after opening weekend and saw a dud, earning only $19.4 million, or a 65 percent drop from its predecessor’s debut. And now the chill in the air is worsening as Variety reports Universal, the studio behind the project, could stand to lose up to $70 million total from the expensive flop. That much money buys a whole lot of apologies to K-Stew.

The film is still in theaters, though chilly attendance ensures many of those screenings will play to empty rooms and the occasional couple trying to split the difference between The Jungle Book and Captain America: Civil War. Executives estimate the film bringing in an eventual total of $55 million domestic and $150 million internationally, which, when you consider the $115 million budget and presumed marketing costs of at least $70 million, seems like it could conceivably break even. That is, until you look at the number executives say it would need to hit to actually end up in the black—$325 million—and subsequently give up any hope of understanding Hollywood financial analysis.


Thus ends Universal’s hope of turning the world of Snow White into an expanded universe—at least, in the live-action realm. Let’s not forget the recently announced studio decision that Snow White has a previously unknown sister to make movies about. That should be good for at least three or four sequels.

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