Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Dark Knight - 185 mio. budget?! WTF?!

Old 12-19-08, 06:13 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,187
Dark Knight - 185 mio. budget?! WTF?!

According to IMDB, Dark Knight has an estimated budget of 185 mill.

Either IMDB is wrong, or I am simply a fool. I have NO idea how a movie like that could cost $185 000 000. I realize it's expensive to make a big movie, obviously.

But can someone explain how the heck it runs up to 185 million? I seriously can't reason how or why. Special effects were nothing ordinary, and while the movie was long (2 hours) many scenes were shot in small environments and settings featuring only a few people.

A movie like T2, which is a much bigger movie than Dark Knight (esp, considering its time, 1990) cost what, 100 million back then? Adjust for inflation and you're still not approaching Dark Knight. Alexander was 150 mill., and again a bigger movie.

I honestly can't think of why Dark Knight would cost any more to make than so many other action movies.

Outrageous actors salaries? That's an easy way to bump production costs.
Parcher is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 06:26 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
riotinmyskull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: portsmouth, va
Posts: 9,178
another fucking dark knight thread.
riotinmyskull is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 06:51 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,187
Originally Posted by riotinmyskull View Post
another fucking dark knight thread.
Specifically about the budget..
Parcher is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 06:59 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 23,936
Are you German?
starman9000 is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 07:08 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
E. Honda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: A sweaty sauna somewhere in Japan
Posts: 1,717
Remember the 2006 crapfest sequel Evan Almighty? It's budget exceeded $200,000,000, so anything is possible.
E. Honda is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 07:24 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Larry C.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Let's Go Heat!
Posts: 7,495
Originally Posted by riotinmyskull View Post
another fucking dark knight thread.
I am so SICK of these!!!
Larry C. is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 07:29 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,533
Originally Posted by Parcher View Post
According to IMDB, Dark Knight has an estimated budget of 185 mill.

Either IMDB is wrong, or I am simply a fool. I have NO idea how a movie like that could cost $185 000 000. I realize it's expensive to make a big movie, obviously.

But can someone explain how the heck it runs up to 185 million? I seriously can't reason how or why. Special effects were nothing ordinary, and while the movie was long (2 hours) many scenes were shot in small environments and settings featuring only a few people.

A movie like T2, which is a much bigger movie than Dark Knight (esp, considering its time, 1990) cost what, 100 million back then? Adjust for inflation and you're still not approaching Dark Knight. Alexander was 150 mill., and again a bigger movie.

I honestly can't think of why Dark Knight would cost any more to make than so many other action movies.

Outrageous actors salaries? That's an easy way to bump production costs.


Flying your entire crew to Hong Kong to shoot IMAX sequences is expensive, flipping a semi on a closed Chicago street is expensive, filming in Chicago is expensive, creating a giant tank-like mobile is expensive, creating a useable two wheel vehicle is expensive, hiring Chris Nolan, Christian Bale, and Heath Ledger is expensive, having composers make music specifically for your movie is expensive, having a large cast of extras is expensive, closing down buildings is expensive, shooting at night costs extra. IMAX isn't cheap. Blowing up a building is expensive.

Town and Country cost $100m to make and Pirates of the Caribbean 3 cost $300m, figure those out. Terminator 2 cost $102m in 1991 which is about $154m adjusted for inflation, and imo, the visuals in that look cheap by todays standards so ehh.

Last edited by RichC2; 12-19-08 at 07:35 AM.
RichC2 is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 07:35 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
riotinmyskull's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: portsmouth, va
Posts: 9,178
Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
I agree, $180m is pretty low for a movie of such scale. Still trying to figure out how Pirates of the Caribbean 3 cost $300m, even after the sets got wiped out.

Flying your entire crew to Hong Kong to shoot IMAX sequences is expensive, flipping a semi on a closed Chicago street is expensive, filming in Chicago is expensive, creating a giant tank-like mobile is expensive, creating a useable two wheel vehicle is expensive, hiring Chris Nolan, Christian Bale, and Heath Ledger is expensive, having composers make music specifically for your movie is expensive, having a large cast of extras is expensive, closing down buildings is expensive, shooting at night costs extra. IMAX isn't cheap. Blowing up a building is expensive.

Town and Country cost $100m to make, figure that one out.
don't forget aaron eckhart, maggie g., morgan freeman, gary oldman and michael caine.
riotinmyskull is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 07:43 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,187
Rich I get all the things you're saying. I'm just confused since there are many movies that are on a similar scale in terms of "epicness" that didn't cost 185 mio.

Actors salaries must have been a BIG part of Dark Knight.

Troy was 175 million. That felt like a much "bigger" movie than TDK.

PS - it doesn't matter if the visuals in T2 look cheap by today's standard. They were very big and expensive back then, and as a side note apart from the in parts dated imagery generally look MUCH better than all the crap we see today.

I'm surprised Pirates 3 was 300 million...how..the..hell :S

This is not an anti-Dark Knight thread, I am simply expressing how I am confused that the movie could cost so much - and expressing that it didn't FEEL like that "big" af movie.

Last edited by Parcher; 12-19-08 at 07:45 AM.
Parcher is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 07:48 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 23,936
Prince Caspian cost more and had less stars.
starman9000 is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 08:00 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,833
Originally Posted by Parcher View Post
Troy was 175 million. That felt like a much "bigger" movie than TDK.
It all took place on one beach.
The Bus is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 08:11 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 38,533
Originally Posted by Parcher View Post
Rich I get all the things you're saying. I'm just confused since there are many movies that are on a similar scale in terms of "epicness" that didn't cost 185 mio.

Actors salaries must have been a BIG part of Dark Knight.

Troy was 175 million. That felt like a much "bigger" movie than TDK.

PS - it doesn't matter if the visuals in T2 look cheap by today's standard. They were very big and expensive back then, and as a side note apart from the in parts dated imagery generally look MUCH better than all the crap we see today.

I'm surprised Pirates 3 was 300 million...how..the..hell :S

This is not an anti-Dark Knight thread, I am simply expressing how I am confused that the movie could cost so much - and expressing that it didn't FEEL like that "big" af movie.
When I watched the movie, I was sort of surprised they kept it under $200m with the rising cost of everything, the weak US dollar, inflation, etc; To each their own I suppose.

Even more amazed they got anything out of 180

RichC2 is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 08:25 AM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 24,120
Originally Posted by Parcher View Post
I am confused that the movie could cost so much
You should have seen the catering spread!
GuessWho is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 08:27 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
Originally Posted by Parcher View Post
Rich I get all the things you're saying. I'm just confused since there are many movies that are on a similar scale in terms of "epicness" that didn't cost 185 mio.

Actors salaries must have been a BIG part of Dark Knight.

Troy was 175 million. That felt like a much "bigger" movie than TDK.

PS - it doesn't matter if the visuals in T2 look cheap by today's standard. They were very big and expensive back then, and as a side note apart from the in parts dated imagery generally look MUCH better than all the crap we see today.

I'm surprised Pirates 3 was 300 million...how..the..hell :S

This is not an anti-Dark Knight thread, I am simply expressing how I am confused that the movie could cost so much - and expressing that it didn't FEEL like that "big" af movie.
most of T2 was salary for Arnold and CGI. the filming was mostly done on sets except for a few shots like when john is running from the semi. shooting at a gas station in the middle of a desert is cheap.

i live in NYC and see what it takes to shoot a scene for law and order or a movie. first you need a permit, then you post signs in the area a few days ahead. then a whole fleet of vehicles comes out and parks for a few days to shoot a few minutes of footage. and a lot of people are needed as well. if you average $50 an hour pay and benefits and there are 100 people that's $5000 an hour. and this is for some cheapo shots in front of a courthouse or in the street with a few actors talking.

to shoot the action scenes in Chicago was probably very expensive. first you plan, simulate, test, test and test and then go to shoot and pray everything goes OK
al_bundy is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 08:28 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 23,936
Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
It all took place on one beach.
Yeah, and if the problem is actor's salaries, you'd think Brad Pitt and Legolas would have priced that one way above TDK.
starman9000 is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 08:33 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 9,446
I don't even know what a mio is never mind 185 of them.
lordwow is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 12:53 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Troy Stiffler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Under an I-10 Overpass
Posts: 21,096
Because most of the effects were 'physical'. When they didn't just shoot the action, they were using composites and whatnot. It's a lot cheaper (and lamer) to have a team of people, sitting behind a computer, creating the action on a computer.

Additionally, I think that everything was very well paid-for. You get what you pay for. Watching the movie, I got the feeling that they were allowed plenty of time to preplan an execute with precision.

Given the budgets of most modern tentpole releases, I think $185mil is very reasonable.

Someone asked if Parcher is German. If I'm not mistaken, he is from Europe somewhere, right? Don't quote me on that. But I seem to remember seeing that in the Other forum at some point.
Troy Stiffler is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 12:56 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 23,936
Originally Posted by troystiffler View Post

Someone asked if Parcher is German. If I'm not mistaken, he is from Europe somewhere, right? Don't quote me on that. But I seem to remember seeing that in the Other forum at some point.
Yeah, I looked up mio. and it came up as the German abbreviation of million.
starman9000 is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 01:07 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Randy Miller III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 4,707
Also, let's not forget marketing costs. TDK's campaign was huge.
Randy Miller III is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 01:14 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,243
It's a sad thing to say, but $185 mill is very reasonable for a movie of this sort. Location shooting in a big US city, very little CGI (I figure it costs more to blow up a few real buildings than it is to blow up a model or do it on a computer), a large cast, and many scenes, etc. at that.

You'd be surprised by how much movies cost these days. The average big summer movie probably costs around $150-250 mill these days. Just for reference, Batman Begins cost $150 million 3-4 years ago. Quantum of Solace cost $200 mill. Spider-Man 3 cost $260 mill. It's all pretty crazy.
Rizor is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 01:15 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Somewhere between Heaven and Hell
Posts: 30,123
Originally Posted by Parcher View Post
According to IMDB, Dark Knight has an estimated budget of 185 mill.

Either IMDB is wrong, or I am simply a fool. I have NO idea how a movie like that could cost $185 000 000. I realize it's expensive to make a big movie, obviously.
Success means everyone wants a larger piece of the pie. Just look at how much Spider-man was and how much more it cost for 2 sequels.
devilshalo is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 01:15 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,833
Originally Posted by troystiffler View Post
Someone asked if Parcher is German. If I'm not mistaken, he is from Europe somewhere, right? Don't quote me on that. But I seem to remember seeing that in the Other forum at some point.
He's a Dane.
The Bus is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 01:17 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Travis McClain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Western Hemisphere
Posts: 7,247
Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
having composers make music specifically for your movie is expensive
Specifically, having two top tier composers make music...is expensive.
Travis McClain is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 01:59 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Boba Fett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,047
I'd say that figure factors in marketing, which I wouldn't be shocked to find was around $40-$50mil.
Boba Fett is offline  
Old 12-19-08, 02:02 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,610
1. CGI
2. Practical effects, stunts, explosions
3. Paying the main actors
4. Paying well over a hundred crew people for 3-4 months of their time
5. Paying over a thousand background extras over the course of the entire film, some of which probably worked for weeks and weeks on the film.
6. Marketing
7. Imax cameras and film (expensive)
8. Travelling to foreign countries with your crew/cast
9. Hiring big time composers
10. Etc...

It's actually surprising to me that it didn't cost more.
Seantn is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.