Blockbuster budgets are very peculiar when it comes to figuring out why certain films cost such an insane amount of money to make, while others cost strangely less. There’s no exact science, as seen by the range between “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides‘” $378.5 million budget (reaching over $400 million without tax rebates) versus “Deadpool’s” $58 million budget. Vanity Fair, however, has now gotten us as close as we’ll get, providing an approximate breakdown of this strange phenomenon and dissecting the estimated pay of the average roles on a $200 million dollar blockbuster film.
Copying the seemingly endless credits sequences of modern-day blockbusters, the video is a credit roll that’s actually worth sitting through. Notably, actors, producers, the main writer and the director all make at or over $1 million each, taking up about 15 percent or $30 million of the budget. The other $170 million is a lot to fill, but it’s not surprising considering a blockbuster usually employs thousands of people (with “Iron Man 3” on record for exceeding the 3,000 mark).
Even so, the video isn’t a complete budget approximation as it “excludes non-human costs.” Outside of human-involved production, marketing is the next major cost, oftentimes totalling over $100 million — yes, on top of that $200 million — on a blockbuster. But, that’s a discussion for another time.
Check out Vanity Fair’s breakdown in the video above!