Last night, as part of a story on the skyrocketing budgets of a number of would-be blockbusters, Variety reported that the effects budget alone on Bryan Singer's Superman Returns has shot up to $100 million - which brings the total cost on the picture to an estimated $250 million. "The notion that costs for CGI would come down just like the costs of other technology hasn't panned out," writes Gabriel Snyder and/or Pamela McClintock. As they credit an "insider" as saying, "Studios are relying on people to come multiple times (to effects-heavy pics) and that falls on the visual f/x. The wow factor has to be extraordinary." Essentially, this is chicken-and-egg stuff: Budgets are out of control because studios need to pay for the stunning effects that bring in huge audiences and lead to return viewings – and those huge grosses are the only way for the studios to pay off the next film's huge budget. Right?

Not so fast, there. About twelve hours after publishing that story, Varietywent on to report that  Legendary Pictures is putting up half the cash on Singer's cape epic. This is a great move for Warners - as the trade puts it, "by partnering on a big-ticket item like Superman and spreading the risk around, Warner Bros. Pictures can display fiscal responsibility." Legendary is making a name for itself bailing out bloated budgets on superhero epics – they also dropped some change into Batman Begins.
categories Movies, Cinematical