Film Budgets and Revenue


Are Film Budgets Too Massive and Out of Control?


Directors like M Night Shyamalan, Ridley Scott and Michael Bay work with massive budgets, but do their best to deliver their films on time and on budget. And in most cases, they even find ways to save the studios money. Bay, for example, has close ties to the military, which does favors for him all the time.


But then there are films like "The Wolfman," which had a budget of $150 million for some reason. Sure, there were some special effects, but nowhere near the scale of "Transformers," which cost the same. Then there's "The Simpsons Movie" that cost $75 million, but looked just slightly better than the show that pumps out new episodes weekly. And the biggest offender is director James L. Brooks who needed $120 million to shoot the small "How Do You Know" romantic comedy with Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon. He just had to shoot the film in chronological order. No way around it in his mind. The film went on to gross only $48 million globally.


And even though there are massive budgets that are justified, director JJ Abrams still feels that they are all out of control, stating: "It is preposterous and embarrassing that movies cost what they do."


His movies aren't cheap either, with both "Star Trek" and "Mission: Impossible III" costing $150 million each. "Star Trek" sequel will likely be even more expensive. But at least he tries to keep the costs as low as possible. "I am as interested in and obsessed with what can be done in the feature world for a price as anyone at any studio," he added. "I feel like it is incumbent upon filmmakers today to treat it like their own money."


Meanwhile, James Wan (Saw, Insidious) keeps delivering film after film for around $1 million that are high-quality, fan-favorites and end up being the most profitable of the year.