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Hollywood Budget Excess Continues

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If you've ever thought that D.C. politicians were the worst people in the world at balancing budgets, think again. Not only does Hollywood excel at spending more money than they make in any given year, they are apparently looking to challenge Congress for spending the most money in a single place.

While we aren't talking about hundreds of billions of dollars quite yet, there do appear to be some studios that intend to spend at least one billion or more this year overall, with tentpole films taking up as much as one-quarter of their budgets, most don't need it and will probably suffer from the industry excess.

Much like "Fight Club," Hollywood's first rule of tentpole budgets is "Don't talk about tentpole budgets." So how come Sony has willingly copped to a $258 million pricetag for "Spider-Man 3" -- the largest budget ever acknowledged by a major studio?

A very astute question from our buddies over at industry mag Variety. The paper mentions how expensive Waterworld was when it was released, with a mere $160 million price tag which everyone thought was unthinkable. Its failure made us think that such excess would never be risked again. So much for that lesson.

This summer, "Spider-Man 3" isn't the only tentpole pushing the budget envelope. The latest installments in the "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Harry Potter," "Rush Hour" and "Die Hard" franchises, as well as "Evan Almighty" and "Transformers," are all drawing scrutiny.

I think Rush Hour star Chris Rock is getting something like $50 million for that sequel, and they wonder why the hell these things costs so much.

Quick notes from around the industry where...
  • Sam Raimi is hinting that Sony is going to commit to three future sequels to the franchise, or has already but hasn't announced it. I don't see this as very realistic. If the next film flops hard even the extreme cost, it could handicap Sony for years. On the other hands, Paramount keeps making Trek movies even though Rick Berman wouldn't know a good story from his own ass.
  • ABC does another Mr. & Mrs. Smith, forgets big stars. They have a lot of new shows coming this fall including a Grey's Anatomy spinoff.
  • CNN bans the news, changes motto to "CNN Idol: Whiners Decide What is News".
  • Yahoo hosts a new trailer for the third movie based on a series of Robert Ludlum films,

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.