Sunday, March 25, 2012

Over Budget

Movies, movies, movies... Everyone loves movies. Most recently, the airwaves and cyber-pages have been abuzz over "The Hunger Games." I haven't seen it, so got  nothing for ya. However, I can say something about another movie I have not seen.

The film "John Carter" has been an unprecedented celluloid catastrophe. In Hollywood lingo, "It's the biggest bust in history." This, of course, raises the question, "How do you not see it coming?" As a studio, one might be surprised by a slight under or over-performance, but to fail so ungracefully, hideously, and miserably cannot be so unforeseen. Surely, that proverbial raven of ill will must have flown over the film set a while back.

From what I've heard and read, that's not the point. To summarize, many large studios give their leading stars gloriously overblown roles and paychecks in mediocre films to keep them happy. (Why does this make them happy, aside from the money, I don't know...). I suppose the argument goes that when you think you've got a real winner on your hands, you have a stable of willing A-listers to jump on board to propel your project to immortal status.

Fine, ok That means the studios are willing to lose big bucks in the hopes of reclaiming them, and more, with a few smash hits every now and again. Moreover, they believe that certain actors can create enough value with their mere presence to make up for all the losses incurred on movies WITH THE SAME ACTORS. Anyway, I ran some numbers. (From

Average worldwide film gross (total) from 1995-2012:


Average number of films per year 1995-2012:


Therefore, average gross per film 1995-2012:


"John Carter" cost $237,000,000.

Let's say the studio gets a great script. They wanna use the star of "John Carter," Taylor Kitsch, again. And let's say it's the same budget again. We'll give the script writers some credit and say they added a chunk of value to the average. So now, we've got a film worth, say, $50,000,000. By Hollywood's logic, Taylor Kitsch is the final blast from the rocket that will send this ship space-bound, so to speak.

Well, in order for the film to BREAK EVEN, young mister Kitsch would need add $187,000,000 to the value of the film.

I'll let you figure out if that's plausible. Hell, it might be! I'm no film expert. I'm just giving details people....

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