It did make a profit the way many Disney features that failed in their original releases did. Through re-releases. Fantasia didn't show a profit until 1963. According to Boxofficemojo, the film has grossed $51,000,000 since it came out, presumably including the three reissues in 1970, 1979, and 1986. On their adjusted-for-inflation chart is #29 for all time and the seventh highest Disney film behind Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, Mary Poppins, The Lion King, and The Jungle Book. Fox's Cleopatra is #38 on that list. If you think $6 million in 1959 is a lot for an animated film (and if we were talking Hanna-Barbera production values you would have a point), it's chump change compared to $160,000,000 for Shrek the Third. Just in terms of inflation $6M in 1959 is a little over $42,000,000 in 2007. Disney hasn't released budget figures since they got heat for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," 20 years ago. And Fox was in the red every year of the 1960s except 1965, the year of The Sound of Music. Cleopatra was merely the glaring symptom of an inability to keep costs down, a lesson they forgot as quickly as they learned as they allowed costs to continue to skyrocket into the end of the decade, leading to the downfall of Darryl F. Zanuck. Even many of their lower-budgeted pictures throughout the decade lost money. I have heard that it was the sale to network TV that nudged Cleopatra into profit. Furthermore, one shouldn't underestimate the importance of home video as a profit center for films, even ones that performed disappointingly at the box office. SB was the #1 selling video in the Billboard chart as reported October 31, 1986: http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/58074135.html?dids=58074135:58074135&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Oct+31%2C+1986&author=DENNIS+HUNT&pub=Los+Angeles+Times+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&desc=For+a+Home+Horror+Happening%3B+Glut+in+the+Ho liday+Sales+Market%3F%3B+Third+Round+of+%60Police+ Academy'&pqatl=google And its DVD sales back in 2003 must have been really good, as the film was promoted to Platinum status. In my opinion, to call the film a "flop" would be a bit of an overstatement.