"Summit Entertainment knows they have struck gold with the Twilight franchise and are pulling out all the stops to bring the hugely successful film series to a close.
The Wrap is reporting that Summit and its investors are spending $263 million to bring The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn to the big screen in a two-part finale, according to internal documents they've gained access to.
This tops previous estimates that placed the budget for each of the Breaking Dawn films around $100 million or $200 million combined.
While $263 million may sound like a big investment on stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner and a film geared toward an - abeit big - niche audience, the potential profits are huge. The same documents place the prospective earnings on Breaking Dawn at around $1.2 million. You, I, or anyone else would gladly plunk down our cash for an investment that could reap a 5 times return in just a few years.
Summit's exposure with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2 is actually far lower than the $263 million budget. Part 1 is budgeted at $127.5 million while Summit's portion is only $38.4. Part 2 will cost $136.2 million and Summit will pay $51.2 million of that. Investors including Peak Capital Investment, who has a 48% stake, are paying for the rest.
The Wrap has posted the Breaking Dawn financial documents which you can download here.
The bottom line is Summit has gone from a struggling upstart studio in the red that took a gamble on Twilight with $37 million to turning annual profits in the $100+ million territory. By continuing to acquire films for distribution rather than produce them in-house, they continue to limit their risk and ride the Twilight dollars. At least until November 2013 when The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 brings the ride to a close."