Initial Costs For Rachel Zegler’s ‘Snow White’ Film Are Already Shockingly High

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 09: Rachel Zegler attends D23 Expo 2022 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on September 09, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

A new report details that the initial costs for The Walt Disney Company’s live-action Snow White film starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot came in at $209.3 million.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 09: (L-R) Gal Gadot and Rachel Zegler speak onstage D23 Expo 2022 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on September 09, 2022. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

This new report from Caroline Reid at Forbes reveals that the Snow White production went under the codename Hidden Heart Productions Limited in the United Kingdom. According to Reid, in the UK filings for the company The Walt Disney Company had already spent $209.3 million as of July 31, 2022.

However, she notes that the United Kingdom’s government has granted Disney a $41.1 million tax rebate meaning the net spend so far is at $168.2 million.

Rachel Zegler as Maria in 20th Century Studios’ WEST SIDE STORY. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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The key thing to point out here is that these are just the costs through July 31, 2022 and do not include any production costs incurred after that date. Ford rightly notes, “Its costs are likely to rise sharply as more than a year of post-production still had to be done after the date of the financial statements.”

It’s not just post-production that will increase the costs though. We know from earlier this year they were also doing pick-up shots without Rachel Zegler. It’s likely those production costs and anymore they might have done in the past year will also be included.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 09: (L-R) Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot attend D23 Expo 2022 at Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on September 09, 2022. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Reacting to this information, financial and box office analyst Valliant Renegade wrote on X, “Rachel Zegler’s SNOW WHITE looks like it will have a production cost of $300 million.”

It’s quite possible it could go even higher than $300 million given the production costs that were incurred over the past year as well as any kind of post-production work the film will undergo.

Nevertheless, Reid claims, based on these initial numbers, the film will need to gross $336.4 million to break even. However, her calculation does not factor in marketing costs.

Rachel Zegler as Maria in 20th Century Studios’ WEST SIDE STORY. Photo by Niko Tavernise. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.

RELATED: Rachel Zegler Wears Sweatshirt Reading “No Tears Left To Cry” In Seeming Response To ‘Snow White’ Criticism

She explains that studios typically receive 55% of box office grosses from domestic theaters and 43% of grosses from international markets. Thus she explains, “Taking the average of 43% and 55% gives roughly a 50-50 split of the box office between theaters and studios.”

She then concludes, “If Disney retains around 50% of the takings from Snow White, the movie will need to gross $336.4 million just to cover its baseline spending of $168.2 million.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 07: Rachel Zegler attends the Los Angeles premiere of West Side Story, held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California on December 07, 2021. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios)

However, as noted above, given there are clearly quite a bit of production costs that are likely to still come in as well as post-production and marketing one could see the film needing to bring in at least $750 million at the box office and that’s using a conservative 2.5x factor for Valliant Renegade’s $300 million minimum production. The 2.5x factor accounts for the different grosses as well as marketing costs.

Given the massive budget it’s unlikely the film will recoup its costs. The most recent live-action film The Little Mermaid only grossed $569.1 million this year.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID, directed by Rob Marshall. Photo by Giles Keyte. © 2021 Disney Enterprises Inc. All Rights Reserved.

RELATED: Former Disney Designer Asserts Walt Disney Would “Very Much Disagree” With Rachel Zegler’s Vision For ‘Snow White’

And these huge budgets are becoming a big concern for Wall Street analysts. Financial analyst Valliant Renegade recently pointed out that Needham analyst Laura Martin, who recently attended a 120-person investor presentation at Walt Disney World, shared that Iger did not discuss the company’s film weakness.

Valliant Renegade commented, “The Disney film weakness, meaning the weakness of the films that Disney is releasing into theaters, which we have covered here quite frankly and laughed out quite a bit.”

He later discussed a section of Martin’s report focused on this box office weakness. Martin explained that Iger did address the company’s box office problem, but his solution is cutting back on the amount of Marvel movies and TV shows being produced as well as cutting back how much they cost.

Moving to Pixar, she detailed, “Pixar directors are mostly new, so he feels [Disney] is better off assigning them existing characters and stories through sequels rather than starting from scratch, like Elemental and Turning Red.”

Commenting on this Valliant Renegade stated, “Oh great! Hand very popular money machine Pixar IPs to new lackeys that don’t know their butt from a hole in the ground. I’m sure that will turn out wonderfully just like all the Disney remakes, and sequels, and adaptations of the last two or three years.”

ELEMENTAL, Disney and Pixar’s all-new, original feature film releasing June 16, 2023, features the voices of Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as Ember and Wade, respectively. In a city where fire-, water-, land-, and air-residents live together, this fiery young woman and go-with-the-flow guy are about to discover something elemental: how much they actually have in common. “Elemental” is directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream. © 2022 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

What do you make of the already massive production budget for the live-action Snow White starring Rachel Zegler?

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