How a blockbuster movie budget is spent

How is a Blockbuster Movie Budget Spent?


Show me the money! A video from Vanity Fair breaks down how studios burn through a blockbuster budget. Read more after the jump.

In the movie industry, multi-million dollar numbers are thrown around pretty  casually. £3 million budget here, £10 million box office gross there. The numbers get ridiculous by the time you get to the big blockbusters. Your common or garden summer superhero team-up will fetch a budget in the hundreds of millions. We have a question: so where does that money go? We know about the different phases and financial obligations, from cast salaries to pre-production to cinematography. But how is it divided up? And who gets the most? Fortunately, a new video might have the answer.

Vanity Fair has released a featurette that draws back the curtain of Hollywood finances. The video serves to break down the whole messy budgeting process so you can see where every dollar goes. Starting with a parody of rolling credits and a $200 million fantasy blockbuster budget, it starts disappearing pretty quickly.

One of the most interesting reveals of the video is the spectrum of salaries within the performing cast. The range stretches all the way from the lead actor’s $12 million to $960 dollars for a day player. The extras pay was no surprise at $148 each, but then you see how together the extras total over $700,00. I’m hoping that the $13,000 for a cat is a joke, but I have a real concern that it’s not. That money could have paid for nearly 90 extras!

So what have we learned from this video? We’ve learned that how early someone is in the credits doesn’t determine how much they earn. We also learned that there’s not a huge difference between the pay of a producer and an executive producer. It’s worth noting that this is just an approximation. Sometimes pay will be less varied and other times the spectrum will be even greater.

Here’s a fun idea for a game next time you’re at the cinema.

Find out the movie’s budge and keep and eye out next time you’re watching the credits roll. Try and figure out who gets what. It’s fun, but could be very sad.

Watch this space for all the latest movie news.


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