With any other product we could follow markups and costsbackward to answer these questions. Movies are a differentstory; they aren’t like any other product because Hollywoodisn’t like any other industry.Studios’ magical bean counters can pull off feats of creativeaccounting that would make grown auditors weep (
Harry Potter 6
grossed $1 billion but convenientlylost money) andstudio execs are notoriously tight lipped about moneymatters anyway.Still, a look at the costs of producing today’s effects-ladenblockbusters would seem to uphold the basic logic thatmovies are expensive to see because they’re expensive tomake.
, for example,
supposedly had a productionbudget—including story rights, crew, actors, equipment,locations, sets, editing, VFX, etc.—of about $220 milliondollars. This doesn’t even approach the total amount Disneyspent on the film.For that figure you’ve got to factor in P&A—“prints andadvertising”—which includes cost of making the physicalprints of the film and launching a full-scale marketing assaulton the general public to ensure long lines on openingweekend. P&A tacks on another 50% of the productionbudget, bringing our (theoretical)
grand total to