Ain’t It Cool News’ Mr. Beaks has a TERRIFIC interview with Steven Soderbergh for Contagion; he got a solid 45 minutes with the director and they have a great conversation that spans Soderbergh’s career, as well as some truly in-depth stuff about how he works (I love the section about why he doesn’t use helicopter shots, and how he’s abandoning hand-held). But there’s a small bit in there that jumped out at me and I thought would make a good discussion point.
It’s early on in the interview:
An unnamed movie that came out this summer, a studio floated a number that I can’t believe anybody who knows anything about movies took seriously, and they did.
What movie is he talking about? Underreported budgets are de rigueur these days, and it’s been decades since studios actually boasted about how expensive their films are. But one movie this summer really got his attention, and I suspect I know what it is.
I think it’s Super 8. The film is officially budgeted at 50 million dollars, which is an insanely low number for a movie shot on location with extensive CG effects. The train crash alone feels like it’s a massive percentage of that reported budget. I was always baffled that everybody just took that 50 million number as gospel.
I also know for a fact that Rise of the Planet of the Apes was more expensive than the stated 93 million dollar budget. The FX alone make up for about 80% of that stated budget.
So what do you think? What movie is Soderbergh talking about? Again, obviously every movie underreports budgets now (Beaks says to Soderbergh that he automatically adds 50 million to any budget he hears), but which one was so severe that it made Soderbergh pay attention? Was it Super 8 or Apes, or was it a big movie like Transformers: Dark of the Moon (195 million reported) or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (250 reported)?