‘PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie’: Kid Pic Barks Way Into No. 10 Spot In Deadline’s 2023 Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament

Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament is back. While studios during Covid wildly embraced the theatrical day-and-date model when cinemas were closed, they soon realized there’s nothing more profitable than a theatrical release and the downstreams that come with it. If anything, theatrical is the advertisement for a movie’s longevity in subsequent home entertainment windows. Entering the conversation in 2023 were the streamers, such as Apple, who have also realized the necessity of theatrical to eventize their movies. The financial data pulled together here for Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster Tournament is culled by seasoned and trusted sources.


PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie
Paramount Pictures and Spin Master

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Kicking off this year’s blockbuster tournament with a shocking twist is Paramount and Spin Master’s sequel Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie, a September 29 release that growled loudly at the box office with a $22.7 million domestic opening, a $46M global start and a final of $65.2M stateside and global B.O. of $202.2M. Interestingly enough, Paramount also notched the No. 10 spot in last year’s tournament with its Paramount+-turned-theatrical horror film Smile. PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie‘s ultimate ticket sales, despite opening during the SAG-AFTRA strike, underscored the brand’s power to pull in families with young kids sans a massive publicity boost by its cast (Note: star Kim Kardashian did drop a trailer on TikTok on June 12 before the actors strike began). The first PAW Patrol movie in 2021 saw its grosses ($40.1M domestic and $144.3M global) siphoned due to its play on Paramount+ and in theaters; the distribution tactic was taken as families were slowly returning from the pandemic. The genesis to bring PAW Patrol to the big screen began with Paramount Pictures CEO Brian Robbins when he was at Nickelodeon. He saw the potential to spike consumer products off of one of the biggest preschool franchises in the world with a big-screen treatment; the Nick cable network first aired the kids series in August 2013. Part of the lure to get moms off the couch was in Paramount casting Kardashian as Delores, with the reality star herself a mother with kids who are PAW Patrol fans. Also, we can’t forget about Frozen star Kristen Bell being part of the voice ensemble here.

In order to raise the profile of The Mighty Movie minus cast PR, the studio delivered experiences to families to trigger them to attend. No actors to book on shows? No problem. There were costume characters from the film who flooded zoos, a White Sox game in Chicago and children’s hospitals, as well as on-air appearances in several markets. There was also an immersive 5,500-square-foot PAW Patrol 2 movie experience in New York City’s Columbus Circle, which ended with a collectible pup tag, photo op, Dance PAWty, and a gift shop featuring 24 SKUs of PAW Patrol goods for sale. On social, among the highlights were lyric videos created for three of sequel’s original songs including “Down Like That” by Bryson Tiller, “Bark to the Beat” by McKenna Grace and Blackbear, and “Learning to Fly” by Christina Aguilera. Brand partners that helped garner 3 billion impressions for the sequel included Burger King with a movie-themed King Jr. Meal, and Dogtopia, which called on all super-pups by encouraging pet parents to share their dog’s superpowers in a first-time film partnership.



How did this sequel dig its way into our top 10? It all boils down to the $50M in merchandise, per sources. Understand the following: Some movies are greenlit based on their ability to spur merchandise sales, and that was the justification here for this $30M production, split evenly between Canada-based Spin Master and Paramount. As such, it’s a line item here in the P&L. Other blockbusters such as The Super Mario Bros Movie and Barbie, though rich with merchandise sales, didn’t have greenlights contingent on consumer products. Paramount is the licensor of the consumer products and works on everything from towels to toothbrushes to pajamas. Spin Master gets $10M in participations from the movie. The $70M in revenues includes the cost for which Paramount sold the movie to streaming service Paramount+. A total of $114M in net profit has easily paved the way for a third movie, which has already been scheduled for release on July 31, 2026.

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