Discussion What do you think the budget for Episode VII will be?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by dolphin, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. dolphin Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 1999
    star 4
    Hello Everyone,

    This is your friendly neighborhood box-office aficionado,

    I am always afraid to start new threads for fear of getting spanked for duplicating previous efforts. I think I'm on safe ground here. Let's discuss how much money this thang is going to make....

    I'll kick off by discussing the point at which Disney starts actually making money.

    First, large tentpole action-adventure epics tend to cost about $200 million (some higher, some lower). That hasn't changed for several years. This doesn't include the awareness campaigns which can be expensive. In fact, advertising and marketing budgets can often be north of $100 million.

    A rough but usable metric for estimating box-office break even points is to simply double the total production cost. I won't belabor why this is so just trust me.

    As an aside, for the sake of simplicity we will not consider back-end profit participation (best believe JJ and the main cast will get paid), distribution costs (a moot point since Disney can handle distribution in-house), merchandising tie-in (could we see a Heineken bottle make an appearance at a Mos Eisley bar?), and how the money is split between big Disney and LFL.

    Ok, back to profit points - If a movie costs $300 million to make ($200m production+$100m advertising) then it would need to make $600 million to break even. Yikes. How do studios stay in business? Well, due to the growth of overseas and home video/merchandising/cable rights/VOD revenue this is more achievable than some may think. In fact, box-office revenues constitute a fraction of the money a film brings in!

    ILM is friggin expensive because they are the best at what they do (sorry WETA). Since they're inhouse (as was the case obviously with the other films), I think Disney will be able to keep Episode VII to about $200 million with $100 million in advertising. So, let's stick with the $300 m in overall production costs. Carry over the one, add the zero, and you are left with $600 million needed to start making dolla dolla bills.

    Now, for perspective. Here is a small list of films that have made about $600m in global grosses: Madagascar 2, Casino Royale, Mama Mia, Life of Pi.

    Easy peasy my neasy.
  2. The Hellhammer Grand Judicator of the New Film Territories

    Moderator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 5
  3. Visivious Drakarn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2013
    star 2
    Lucas was smart and kept the prequel budgets arround 110-115 million $. Today even third Narnia movie had costed more.
    Anything bigger than 150 million would be crazy.
  4. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    one gazillion dollars and three dinosaur eggs
  5. TX-20 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2013
    star 4
    Since this is now at Disney, I'd say $250 million at least.
  6. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    More wealth than you can imagine!
  7. StoneRiver Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 6, 2004
    star 4

    I can imagine quite a bit :p

    I foresee this movie, and the subsequent ones, to cost more than I'll ever make in my lifetime!
    El_Machete12 and The Hellhammer like this.
  8. EMPEROR_WINDU Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2002
    star 5
    I would think that 200 million is to be expected. The PT was pretty consistently around 100-115 but that was at least ten years ago, so I'd think you'd have to expect a higher number than the PT. Of course I think Episode VII will make more than any of the PT films as well...
  9. WatTamborWoo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2011
    star 3
    GL was a genius keeping the extremeley complicated PT under 120 million.

    Disney don't need to be as innovative in cost cutting. I will go for 250 million
    Last edited by WatTamborWoo, Jun 21, 2013
    lord_eidolon likes this.
  10. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 4
    Genius as a business man, no doubts about that.
  11. Buddha Fett Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 18, 1999
    star 4
  12. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Set your weapons to "very expensive"
    WatTamborWoo likes this.
  13. TheMasterOfSoresu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2011
    star 1
    This is not true; its what's known as 'Hollywood accounting'.
  14. chris hayes Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2012
    star 4
    Around $250 mill as Disney want's to go all out to get it right.......
  15. Darth_Zidious Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 3, 2001
    star 4
  16. Echo-07 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    I won't be surprised to see a lower budget (tentpole-wise) on the order of 100-150 million. Consider that Hunger Games was $80 mil. I don't know how much it cost to make but Fast & Furious 6 has made over 600 Mil globally this summer, which is crazy. (That's according to EW, btw.)

    So I will say Disney will spend low, emphasizing practical FX over CGI and I bet they won't even spend as much on marketing, because they simply don't need to.

    I think Disney will spend 100-150 (maybe 200 mil) but SW E7 will globally make near 1 billion in ticket sales and merchandising. And that's just if its ok. IIf the movie is outstanding -- IE ESB-level of emotional twists & turns etc... Ie if Han and Leia bite it in EPIC proportions I could see E7 becoming the all-time box office giant -- YES over Titanic.
  17. MakingStarWars Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2008
    star 3
    But Empire made the least of its trilogy.
  18. Echo-07 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    That's irrelevent. TESB is widely considered the best SW movie and is my favorite. I was just using it as an example of the kind of emotional arcs and dramatic cliff-hanger that I suspect E7 will contain.
  19. sethg Pulled Pork Sandwich/E7 Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 2
    there's no way disney will spend any less than $200 million. star wars is an established cash cow of a franchise on the same level as their marvel movies. they have no reason to set the bar low.
  20. Echo-07 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    Despite popular myth you CAN make good, high quality movies for less than 200 million.
    Last edited by Echo-07, Jun 22, 2013
    The Hellhammer and lord_eidolon like this.
  21. MakingStarWars Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 2008
    star 3
    Apparently it isn't irrelevant if it takes thirty years for the quality of Empire to be appreciated at the level it is now. I'm glad it is your favorite and it is spectacular but it has been more than clear they're aiming for a feel good story like Episode IV. You can't start with the "bad," you have to give some "good." If they don't it won't connect.
  22. Echo-07 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    As I stated it was just an example. If 7 is good it will do really well. If it's great it could set a record.
  23. sethg Pulled Pork Sandwich/E7 Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 2

    no doubt. most of my favorite movies are perfect examples of that, but studios these days tend to blow a lot of money on visual spectacle.
  24. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Of course you can, most movies over that price aren't very good (John Carter, Avatar etc)
  25. Echo-07 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    Yeah, I agree. But in my 1st post on the subject i suggested that there will be less CGI and more practical FX. CGI is one way of boosting budget. There will still be alot of CGI as it is. But movies can be made for 150 million and still be "tentpoles" or "blockbusters." My opinion is that it can be done and that most studios really inflate the supposed budget of films. I guess I just don't believe that movies actually cost 200 million to make.