Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reel Facts & Opinions: Movie Math

FACT: Neal Moritz, the producer of last year’s critically drubbed stinker THE GREEN HORNET, has stated that there won’t be a GREEN HORNET 2; not because the film stunk, but because it didn’t make back enough money to justify another film. What’s interesting is that THE GREEN HORNET was made for a reported $120 million (which includes $10 million for making it in goddamn 3D), and made back $228 million worldwide.

OPINION: If you’re good with math (you nerd), right away you can see that THE GREEN HORNET made back nearly twice as much as it was made for. On the surface, that seems like a great thing, right? But there are hidden costs thanks to marketing (posters, trailers, billboards, etc.) which can easily tally up another $100 million. Tack on that extra cost, and HORNET just about breaks even.

While it is probably a good thing that we won’t be subject to another shitty HORNET film with Seth Rogen and his endless fart jokes, this is a bad sign looking ahead. Studios seem to want not just a money maker, but a HUGE money-maker before forging ahead with a sequel. Sure, a crappy movie that makes no money doesn’t deserve a follow-up, but HORNET’s intake last year was one of the top money-makers of the year. If $228 million wasn’t good enough, then the studios were likely hoping for a $500-ish million draw. That makes them idiots, for that type of number belongs to the likes of AVATAR, TITANIC, and THE DARK KNIGHT. Seth Rogen will never compete with that.

The studio itself is to blame. Not only could have they made a better film, but in watching HORNET you have to wonder where all the money went to. Over the past five years or so, there have been better films with great visuals which were made for nearly peanuts; DISTRICT 9 (which was Oscar nominated) was made for $30mil, SOURCE CODE was made for $40mil, and MOON was made for $5mil. All made their money back and then some.

With money being the bottom line over anything else, Hollywood will likely veer more towards established properties (which means plenty of remakes), and away from original projects. Either that or they need to learn how to spend their money more wisely.

Of course, they could just start making better movies.

What say you?

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