Is $100 Million still the milestone it used to be?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chad R, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It seems that many studios regard the $100 million mark as a special milestone. However, it just seems that with inflated budgets, inflated ticket prices and a record number of venues to play, that it's just not as hard for a movie to make that much money.

    Foremost is the fact that most major productions cost over $100 million to produce. Therefore, I seriously doubt it's any consolation to the investors that the press is heralding the film's gross when they've yet to make a profit. For instance 'Wild Wild West' grossed a hair over the magic mark, but was far more to produce. After advertising, foreign and video sales I'm sure it turned a profit, but not a great one. Or 'Harry Potter' cost $165 million so when it tied the record for quickest film to reach $100 million it still had a while to go before turning a profit (not that anyone doubted it would, but you get my point I hope).

    With ticket prices considerably higher than when a film like Jaws earned it's money which pretty much set the figure as the benchmark, I don't think it's fair to compare the two. Ticket prices in Orlando are creeping up to $8.00 (I don't want to think what they are in New York). Couple that with the number of screens these things play on it's much easier to reach $100 million. I know the inlfation argument doesn't hold weight with some, but it sure does me.

    Basically, for a major release it's the rule rather than the exception for it to reach $100 million, so why do studios and the press still harp on that number as making a film a hit? I think it's more akin to a film making $50 million in the eighties.
     
  2. Hubert

    Hubert Second Unit

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    No, but then you have to take into consideration hype, how much a particular movie cost, etc. 100 million is still a lot of money, but if the movie cost 150 million to make and market, then 100 million dollars is a disappointment. So no, 100 million doesn't mean what it used to. But for a cheaper movie, 100 million dollars is a milestone.
     
  3. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I thin you'll find that the 100 million figure is touted much more when the film doesn't have a huge budget. You'll notice that everyone has their eye on $200 mil for Harry Potter, because that's the only figure that will make a dent in the production cost and marketing for it.

    But if you look at a movie like the Princess Diaries or Legally Blonde, those figures mean a lot more, and are great achievements for those films.

    So, I would say that it means a lot for most of the films released, but not for the most expensive potential blockbusters out there.
     
  4. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    Personally, I don't think 100M gross raise any eyebrows anymore, I think the news that caught some attention with HP is it racked in 100M in the first weekend!!!

    I just watched Brasil (Terry Gillium) again last night, the movie was released in 1985, barely 16 years ago, the total budget was 13M. In contrast, I think they paid Chris Tucker 20M for his part in Rush Hour 2.
     
  5. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  6. TerryRL

    TerryRL Producer

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    For most mainstream Hollywood films, $100 million isn't nearly as big a deal as it once was. For films like "The Blair Witch Project" or "Pulp Fiction", $100 million is a major accomplishment.

    For the "bigger" Hollywood movies, $150 million is really the mark that makes the executives happy. Take "Tomb Raider" for example. The film earned $131 million domestically. Paramount would've been a lot happier with a take north of $150 million, especially considering how much the movie cost to make (over $120 million).

    $150 million will make the execs happy, but $200 million is THE mark that almost guarentees a franchise.
     

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