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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Dick Tracy -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    Adding worldwide grosses, "Dick Tracy" made $162 million, which was 3.5 times its $46 million budget.

    Adding worldwide grosses, "B&R" made $238 million, which was 1.9 times its $125 million budget.
    And it crushed a successful franchise so bad that they had to start over eight years later!

    Not sure how you think those are comparable at all. "Dick Tracy" was a disappointment - "B&R" was a hated flop...
     
  2. FrancisP

    FrancisP Well-Known Member

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    Dick Tracy cost $100 million which is 1.59 times it's budget not 3.5. people want to conveniently forget the huge amount of money Disney put into marketing the film. Batman and Robin like Dick Tracy was not a flop but a disappointment. Both were hugely hyped.
    Batman and Robin made more money than Dick Tracy.

    Warner was planning a sequel even as they were shooting Batman and Robin. They had planned to use the Scarecrow as a way to bring back Joker and they were talking to Jack Nicholson to reprise the role. It was George Clooney's decision to drop out after Batman and Robin was released that killed it.
     
  3. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    A movie's production budget is its official budget. Marketing is a separate expense paid for out of different coffers and is not counted as part of the official budget. Numbers for marketing are almost always ill-defined because the studio doesn't want you to know how much they actually spent. On a movie like this, they'll also forge cross-promotion deals with other entities (fast food chains, toy companies, etc.) that will pay for their own marketing with a common goal of promoting the same movie. We'll never know how much money was actually spent in total on this movie, or who spent it.

    When Jeffrey Katzenberg said that they spent $100 million on Dick Tracy, was that a real number? Was it a ballpark figure? Was he wildly exaggerating to make a point, or was he low-balling to hide how much of a bath the studio took? Only Katzenberg knows.

    With $162 million in grosses, I think it's fairly safe to assume that Dick Tracy turned a profit of some sort. Exactly how comfortable a profit that was is something we can only speculate about. The movie certainly wasn't Batman, but I seriously doubt that anyone lost money on it.
     
  4. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

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    It needs to be pointed out that a lot of gross numbers that are thrown out there include the Theatres percentage that they keep so if a film grossed 160 million back in the 80's then the Theatres kept about 50% of the take so Disney would keep 80 million, theaters keep 80 million. Still more than the initial film cost of 35 but certainly less than the reported 100 million.
     
  5. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    Theaters get a much smaller percentage of the take in the first couple of weeks. It varies from movie to movie depending on the distribution deals struck, but it could be as little as 10-20%. The majority goes to the distributor. The percentage for theaters increases the more weeks a movie plays. That's why the studios focus all their advertising to hype a movie's opening weekend and then basically ignore it after that, and why theater owners are so upset about shrinking video release windows.
     
  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    You claim that but where's your evidence? If you're counting marketing costs, then that's a different issue.

    IMDB says "Dick Tracy" cost $46 million
    Wikipedia says "Dick Tracy" cost $46 million
    Box Office Mojo says "Dick Tracy" cost $47 million

    On the other hand, the budget for "B&R" varies from $125 million to $140 million - and that's before marketing. It probably cost $200 million when all other costs came into play.

    I'll say it again: "Dick Tracy" was a disappointment, "Batman & Robin" was a flop...
     
  7. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Today yes, but that wasnt so at the time. It was movies like Godzilla where Sony started forcing those sorts of terms on theaters and things changed. When DT came out it would have been closer to 50/50
     
  8. FrancisP

    FrancisP Well-Known Member

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    Marketing is a cost to the film irregardless of which pocket it comes out of. Katzenberg, who was the head of Disney, put the total cost at $100 million. Wikipedia puts the marketing costs at $54 million which seems to agree with Katzenberg.

    Joel Schumacher said it best. He commented that when you deal with blockbusters, it's either a hit or a failure. There is no in-between. Dick Tracy and Batman and Robin were both in-between. Neither a financial flop nor a financial hit.
     
  9. Reggie W

    Reggie W Well-Known Member

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    In this thread and in the Star Trek thread on this page there seems to be a lot of discussion about the financial success or failure of the films and I sort of wonder if we have a lot of accountants visiting this website. Mainly I don't have much interest in discussing the financials of these films unless I had a specific investment in them outside of that it is not really my concern.

    I think there are many interesting things to discuss with regards to the film, including the idea that Beatty's preferred cut of it is 135 minutes long...which may have fleshed out the story in a better way.

    I also think it is odd that Disney entrusted a film like Dick Tracy to Warren Beatty whose output in the previous decade had consisted of Reds and Ishtar...showing he was neither a box office draw nor a likely person to helm a comic book blockbuster.

    I also think the production history and how Dick Tracy made it to the screen is pretty interesting. So many stars and directors were considered as the project went along that it is sort of interesting to think what Walter Hill's version would have been like (supposedly more realistic and bloody...an R-rated Dick Tracy?) or what Martin Scorsese directing would have produced (Scorsese loves noir and B-pictures and has had a lot of fun with this sort of material). John Landis probably would have tilted the film in a more comic direction had he stayed in the director's chair.

    I mean all of this seems more interesting than debating the film as a financial concern.
     
  10. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

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    It's just not that cut-and-dried. The studio consolidates and piggybacks marketing costs across multiple features. Those costs aren't counted toward the official budget of any particular movie because it's very cloudy as to exactly how much marketing money counts towards which film.

    Wikipedia doesn't provide a source for its $54 million claim. That was undoubtedly based on Katzenberg's statement, and I don't believe Katzenberg's statement can be (or was even meant to be) taken so literally. Maybe Disney spent $54 million to market Dick Tracy (I suppose that doesn't sound too far-fetched; the movie was very heavily hyped), or maybe Katzenberg was just tossing out a number to express his disappointment that it didn't perform better, and saying they spent $100 million got the point across.
     
  11. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Well-Known Member

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    Disney just did that recently with John Carter by piling on as soon as it was clear it was going to lose a fair amount of money. The movie managed to lose more money than it cost to make even though there were revenues to offset some of the cost thanks to Hollywood accounting.

    All I remember about Dick Tracy was that it was considered a flop when it was released whether it was technically a flop or that was an exaggeration because the studios had high hopes and it did not come close to meeting them.
     
  12. FrancisP

    FrancisP Well-Known Member

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    Or maybe Katzenberg is just telling the truth when he said $100 million. I love how people try to argue the meaning of is when someone says something. It certainly was deemed a failure by Disney since they did not renew the option.

    Interestingl enough, Beatty may be the roadblock to a sequel. Tribune tried to get the character back so they could do something with it. That failed and Beatty has sat on the rights since then.

    Schumacher had it right. When a film is heavily hyped, it's considered a flop or a hit. There are no in-betweens even if a film makes a little money.
     

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