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Old 06-19-2015, 12:40 PM   #1
levcore levcore is offline
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Default Big budgets but the money is NOT up on the screen!

Budgets are getting bigger than ever year by year and this is understandable with a lot of movies, considering the amount of action, visual FX, huge sequences or expensive actors involved. However there are always movies that seem to cost an extraordinary amount of money but the money is certainly not up on the screen. For example I believe Inception cost 200 Mil yet apart from jetting to a few different countries i cannot for the life of me see what the money was spent on. Another one is Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, which apparently cost $250Mil despite being very action and VFX lite. I can imagine some of the pay rises the cast must have received to push the budget into those numbers. I know Sahara is a notorious one as an example of screwy Hollywood accounting. That movie cost $150Mil to make.

Any other examples of extraordinary budgets but an end result that really makes you wonder where all the money went?
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:43 PM   #2
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$120M budget
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
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$120M budget
What on earth!!!!! That's insane.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levcore View Post
For example I believe Inception cost 200 Mil yet apart from jetting to a few different countries i cannot for the life of me see what the money was spent on.
Perhaps the revolving corridors, collapsible sets, huge explosions, snowy mountain stunts, the folding cities, the freight train running through the centre of the city and the multi-mil price tag for DiCaprio had something to do with it.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:01 PM   #5
levcore levcore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foggy View Post
Perhaps the revolving corridors, collapsible sets, huge explosions, snowy mountain stunts, the folding cities, the freight train running through the centre of the city and the $50 mill price tag for DiCaprio had something to do with it.
Honestly, for a big blockbuster movie it felt small to me. None of what you've mentioned IMO would justify a $200Mil budget. It's all stuff that's been done before, cheaper too. I mean What We Do in the Shadows had a revolving corridor scene, and that movie had an extremely low budget. Direct to DVD movies have huge explosions in them, they don't cost $200Mil. I've seen modestly budgeted movies with CG equal to Inceptions.

$50 Mil for Dicaprio is insane though.

That said i just picked a couple of examples at random, ones where I felt the money wasn't up on the screen, i don't want this thread to turn into people trying to prove me wrong for my examples, i am more interested in other (better) examples, such as the one above.

Last edited by levcore; 06-19-2015 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levcore View Post
Honestly, for a big blockbuster movie it felt small to me. None of what you've mentioned IMO would justify a $200Mil budget. It's all stuff that's been done before, cheaper too.

$50 Mil for Dicaprio is insane though.

That said i just picked a couple of examples at random, ones where I felt the money wasn't up on the screen, i don't want this thread to turn into people trying to prove me wrong for my examples, i am more interested in other (better) examples, such as the one above.
$50 mill digit was wrong, he actual took a price cut for it in return for some of the profit and ended up $50 Mill + in pocket. That said, it's still a lavishly designed film, it's like saying you can't see the money that went into Skyfall because it wasn't VFX heavy, there's a ridiculous amount of money put into set and costume design over digital spaceships and robots.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:07 PM   #7
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The Lone Ranger
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:12 PM   #8
Abby is Q Abby is Q is offline
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Inception seems like a really poor example. Shooting on location in hard to reach places and building sets can eat up a chunk of budget really quickly. Especially if reshoots need to be done. Also, I believe they used an imax camera, which means they had to haul around one of the biggest and most expensive cameras to places it likely isn't easy to move it to. VFX and stunt work done on a closed set will never cost as much as a movie that has tons of extras and requires a large crew and multiple moving parts, so a movie lacking action doesn't always mean it didn't cost money to make. The only reason action movies tend to cost more is because action sequences take forever to shoot.

I do believe budgets are incredibly inflated though. It seems like every movie nowadays is over $100 million, and it's likely going to lead to a movie industry crash sooner than later.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foggy View Post
$50 mill digit was wrong, he actual took a price cut for it in return for some of the profit and ended up $50 Mill + in pocket. That said, it's still a lavishly designed film, it's like saying you can't see the money that went into Skyfall because it wasn't VFX heavy, there's a ridiculous amount of money put into set and costume design over digital spaceships and robots.
See i actually CAN see a lot of Skyfall's money up on the screen, some huge action set pieces, exotic shooting locations that require hundreds upon hundreds of extras. Presumably a huge salary rise for Craig as it's his third outing for the character (same cannot be said of Inception).

But anyway like i said i don't want to dwell specifically on Inception, it was just an example, i apologise if you consider it a bad one.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abby is Q View Post
Inception seems like a really poor example. Shooting on location in hard to reach places and building sets can eat up a chunk of budget really quickly. Especially if reshoots need to be done. Also, I believe they used an imax camera, which means they had to haul around one of the biggest and most expensive cameras to places it likely isn't easy to move it to. VFX and stunt work done on a closed set will never cost as much as a movie that has tons of extras and requires a large crew and multiple moving parts, so a movie lacking action doesn't always mean it didn't cost money to make. The only reason action movies tend to cost more is because action sequences take forever to shoot.

I do believe budgets are incredibly inflated though. It seems like every movie nowadays is over $100 million, and it's likely going to lead to a movie industry crash sooner than later.
I take your points but can we move on now from Inception specifically please. We'll agree to disagree on that one.

Last edited by levcore; 06-19-2015 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:21 PM   #11
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It's not the money, it's the time. Movies are forced to meet certain release dates and the movies are basically taken out of the hands of directors/VFX artists before they can get everything 100% right. IMHO CGI still looks mostly fine, but yeah, 90% of movies look OK and only a few look truly stellar, but that's kinda how it's always been. People complained about The Hobbit CGI looking awful (and a lot of it was), but they were rendering twice as much CGI due to 48fps in the amount of time a normal movie takes, so it was obviously gonna suffer. Desolation of Smaug was the last big movie I saw where I remember thinking the CGI looked atrocious (except the Dragon).
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
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$120M budget
How Do You Know is a perfect example unless boxofficemojo made a mistake. Why was it so expensive? That's just insane. Didnt they learn anythng from Brooks' 80 million Spanglish? Why was As Good As It Gets even costing 50 million? the movie took place in an apartment most of time and a few scenes in Baltimore.
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
How Do You Know is a perfect example unless boxofficemojo made a mistake. Why was it so expensive? That's just insane. Didnt they learn anythng from Brooks' 80 million Spanglish? Why was As Good As It Gets even costing 50 million? the movie took place in an apartment most of time and a few scenes in Baltimore.
Why the hell does Brooks need so much money to make mediocre comedies? As Good as it Gets was alright but heck that's a lot of money for these kinds of movies!
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
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How Do You Know is a perfect example unless boxofficemojo made a mistake. Why was it so expensive? That's just insane. Didnt they learn anythng from Brooks' 80 million Spanglish? Why was As Good As It Gets even costing 50 million? the movie took place in an apartment most of time and a few scenes in Baltimore.
Reshoots. Brooks had final cut and would constantly rework and reshoot scenes long after principal photography had finished. Also, the leads had huge salaries ($50 million of the budget went towards the four leads).

Another one: Town and Country. It cost $90 million (in 1999 dollars) but looks like it could have been produced for $5 million.

I also never understood how Children of Men could have cost $80 million. Danny Boyle made 28 Days Later for $8 million and they have pretty much the same look in terms of showing the money.

And there's the case of Almost Famous somehow costing $60 million (some sources had listed $35 million though). That could have been made for much cheaper (Richard Linklater could make a similar film for $8-10 million).
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:12 PM   #15
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Green Lantern is the first one that comes to mind. $200M budget and it actually wasn't that effect-heavy I thought, and what was there looked pretty "meh".
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:12 PM   #16
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Lots gets eaten up by the extremely highly compensated actors/actresses. Drives me crazy that people piss and moan about atheletes making good coin but they seem to have no problem with stiffs like Leo Dicrappio or whomever pocketing $30 million per film for what amounts to "phone-in" performances.

Gimme a break.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:16 PM   #17
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Friday the 13th (2009) 19m. (Outrageous for a straightforward slasher in the woods movie with no big stars)

Scream 4/40m.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:17 PM   #18
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Didn't Spider-Man 3 cost like $300m? Take another look at that first Hobgoblin fight... yikes.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikey View Post
Lots gets eaten up by the extremely highly compensated actors/actresses. Drives me crazy that people piss and moan about atheletes making good coin but they seem to have no problem with stiffs like Leo Dicrappio or whomever pocketing $30 million per film for what amounts to "phone-in" performances.

Gimme a break.
That's exactly right. Salaries for the talent can be huge and where lots of the money goes.
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Old 06-19-2015, 02:43 PM   #20
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I would put Tomorrowland in this category.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, but I don't see why it cost $180 mil. Apart from the few scenes set in Tomorrowland, it was actually kind of a small, intimate movie.
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