By now you’ve seen all the continuing Internet chatter claiming Avatar is The Most Expensive Movie Ever Made. It all started with a recent Time magazine report in an article about 3-D. Expectedly, a Fox insider claims, “it’s not near that …yet.” So the Fox powers-that-be were relieved when James Cameron’s rep complained, and Time altered its article which mentioned the pricetag not once but twice: “The original version of this story misstated the cost of the film Avatar as being in excess of $300 million. The correct figure is in excess of $200 million.” Amazing since news outlets usually hate being humiliated by issuing corrections. But I say to Fox: what’s the big deal?
Sure, we all remember when any movie budget over $100 mil used to make Hollywood faint. Then $150 mil induced a cold sweat. But then during the sequel-crazed 2007 summer of the high rollers, the moguls weren’t even blinking at figures above $250 mil (Spiderman 3) and $300 mil (Pirates Of The Caribbean 3). But this is 2009, and Avatar is James Cameron and filmed in 3-D with motion capture technology (which reportedly adds 15% to a film’s production cost), and a mega-tentpole with great buzz. So even if it does wind up costing $300+M, and I bet it will, remember that Spidey 3 and Pirates 3 both sucked yet set records and still made $890M and $960M respectively worldwide.