LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - In Hollywood, there’s the reported budget -- and then there’s what a picture actually costs.
As confidential sales documents about Revolution Studios’ library obtained by TheWrap demonstrate, studios often engage in fuzzy math about movie budgets.
It’s an open secret that studios are less than honest about their financials, and the documents show that was definitely the case when it came to Revolution’s 46 films.
From bombs like “Gigli” to hits like “Black Hawk Down,” the studio could reliably be counted on to shave off between $10 to $20 million from the negative costs of its films.
In the case of “Gigli,” a $75.6 million film became a $54 million one, limiting reports of the company’s losses after the movie flopped. “Gigli” made a mere $7.7 million worldwide, meaning the studio’s losses were actually on the order of $70 million.
Or “America’s Sweetheart,” a bright spot for the studio, which reportedly cost a mere $46 million to produce, in actuality carried a price tag of $64.4 million.
Likewise, Revolution publicly stated that “Tears of the Sun” cost $75 million when the true cost of the Bruce Willis dud topped out at $100.5 million.
In this creative accounting, “XXX: State of the Union” reportedly cost $87 million, but in reality Revolution spent $113.1 million to film the stinker. The $70.6 million it brought in at the worldwide box office killed the franchise.
So as studios engage in public budget battles with filmmakers like Jerry Bruckheimer over “The Lone Ranger,” take the figures bandied about with a grain of salt, and add $20 million.