Tuesday, August 16, 2011


"You are alone now. Last man. You are lone ranger."

For now, the Lone Ranger movie is on hold. It was going to be more of a spoof, mocking the Lone Ranger as a Quixote-like figure deluded into thinking he's some heroic figure and starring Johnny Depp as Tonto.

The film was set to cost a quarter of a billion dollars. You read that right, it was set to cost $250,000,000. They shut it down because Disney wanted them to cut the budget down to a mere $200,000,000 which Jerry Bruckheimer just couldn't figure out how to do.

The Hangover, Part II cost $80,000,000 to make. It has earned $253,941,292 worldwide, so far.
Bridesmaids cost $32,500,000 to make, and has earned $167,169,895 so far.

And Bruckheimer needed a quarter billion dollars to make a movie about cowboys? No aliens, no space battles, no special props, no CGI, no sailing ships to build. Horses, Indians, cowboys, dust, and six shooters.

Look I understand cocaine and hookers takes up a large part of the budget. I get that Johnny Depp wants millions himself to read lines and pose on camera. I understand that you can't just cater, you have to have a huge table of super expensive gourmet goodies. And I understand that every person there has to have a 10-man retinue to feel important but these prices are idiotic.

Paranormal Activities was a piece of crap, but it cost $15,000 to make. It earned $107,918,810 worldwide, making it the most cost effective movie of all time.
Mad Max cost just over $500,000 of inflation-adjusted dollars to make, and earned $22,847,082 in box office dollars (plus who knows in sales, rentals, TV rights, etc).

Here's the list of the other top 8 most efficient movie hits of all time.

And they can't make The Lone Ranger for cheaper? Any business run that poorly deserves to collapse.


Anonymous said...

Maddog says, Epiphany!

Small budget movies good - big budget movies bad. The question is why? Couldn't be because the story, storytelling and acting are not improved with money, could it?

Keep up the good work.

Mark Sherman

Philip said...

You makes the big-budget movie because it's the way you keep score in the film industry.You wants to be the Jerry Bruckheimer who made $250 million Lone Ranger so you can rub it in James Cameron's face and so James can then demand more for his next movie.

You makes the big budget movie because most of it goes to marketing the movie. Flacks gotta eat too.

You makes the big-budget movie because the toys, video games, etc. make the money. The movie is the marketing vehicle.

Lastly, you makes the big budget movie because it'll end up breaking even at best or, most likely, lose money in the studio's and film partners' accounting books. So you gets your money up front, the actors get their percentage, and the tax man gets bupkiss.