Schuyler (Sky) M. Moore

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Why Do Blockbuster Movies Cost So Much To Make?

February 7, 2023Media Mention
The Why - Scripps News

Corporate and entertainment partner, Sky Moore, joined Lauren Magarino, host of "The Why" on Scripps News, to discuss the major expenses in movie production, how these have evolved over time, who is funding these costs, and whether we will continue to see blockbusters that cost millions of dollars to produce in theaters.


"The big ones are what's called above the line. That is mainly the actors, talent, and director. Those costs are enormous. Second would be the special effects. These costs have ballooned because the audiences want it. The other one that is not thought of a lot is music. Music can really make or break a film and people don't realize it. To do a really good score can be very expensive."

"If you go all the way back to the 40s, the studios had actors under contract so those costs were down. Today, those costs have completely ballooned and are wildly high. Likewise for special effects. Audiences expect and demand it so those costs have gone up. Music has not gone as crazy as the other two."

"Someone with the appetite for risk [is fronting the money], which is really the key. [...] A lot of films fall apart and get abandoned. The cost prior to production are as much as 20% of the total cost of the film. Usually it is studios or streamers, someone with really deep pockets that can afford to take the risk of losing it."

"It is at a turning-point. You will see few films with a $200 million budgets. The streamers can no longer afford those kind of costs. It is down to a few blockbuster films that are aiming for the theaters."