Finally. To audiences and fangirls/boys delight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier premiered in movie theatres this past Friday! In honor of this the FX network had the prequel, Captain America: The First Avenger on serious repeat for the past week. It seems to be on every time I turn on the TV. And yes, I am guilty of watching it more than once (more than twice?) in the past week :-)
So let’s talk money. The budget for The Winter Soldier was $170 Million. That’s a lot of money! So why is the budget so high? What actually goes into the budget? Here is a quick breakdown of what goes into a typical feature film budget:
In other words, there are a lot of people to pay and a lot of things to pay for which quickly add up. There ARE a few ways to cut costs however. For example, hiring cast members who are not in a position to demand such a high salary as opposed to hiring A-list actors. But this is a gamble since having an A-lister attached to a project usually positively influences ticket sales. Although Robert Downey Junior was moderately known at the time, he received a salary of ‘only’ $500,000 for the first Iron Man movie. At the time salaries and contracts were being negotiated, there wasn’t yet an established fanbase for Iron Man and the studios didn’t know how it would fare at the box office once released. Also, this was Robert’s big comeback movie after his many stints in rehab and the studios took somewhat of a risk by casting him. Iron Man did extremely well at the box office. Robert was paid a salary of $12.5 Million for Iron Man 2, which also did extremely well at the box office. For Iron Man 3 he demanded a salary of $50 Million. Since he IS Iron Man, the studios couldn’t really refuse. They all knew that they could not bring in a new actor to play Iron Man for the 3rd installment. So in the case of Iron Man 3 which had a budget of $200 Million, ¼ of said budget went to just paying Robert’s salary.
Since we are on the topic of comic book movies, here is a cost breakdown of Spider-Man 2 (of the original Spider-Man movies! not the new ones) from Wikipedia. The
budget was also $200 Million.
Kirsten Dunst: $7 Million
Alfred Molina: $3 Million
Rest of Cast: $3 Million
Other Music: $3 Million
*TOTAL: $200 Million*
We can only expect movie budgets to keep getting bigger and bigger and movie ticket prices to keep going up!