"Spider-Man 3" -- The Most Expensive Film Ever Made?

by | April 23, 2007 | Comments

Is "Spider-Man 3" the most expensive movie ever made? Radar alleges so, adding production costs and subsequent marketing dollars into a half-billion dollar estimated price tag.

According to Radar’s Kim Masters, Sony’s upcoming trilogy capper could well boast the highest budget in movie history; at a projected $500 million (that’s including an estimated $350 million production budget and marketing and promotion costs), "Spider-Man 3" approaches the ranks of previous title holders "War and Peace" (1968) and "Cleopatra" (1963) — with inflation-adjusted budgets of $560 million and $290 million, respectively.

Of course, we may never actually know if Masters’ number is spot-on; different sources give different estimates in the $250 million-$350 million range (with studio sources vehemently denying anything more than $270 million). "Spidey" producer Laura Ziskin acknowledges the ballpark, yet will not admit the figure: "I refuse to say the [real] number because it makes me choke," she tells Radar. "’Spider-Man 3′ was a super-expensive movie — the most expensive film we’ve ever made. But there’s no way you can get to $300 million."

Masters digs deeper into the issue, noting Sony’s history of overspending and its free-wheeling chairwoman, Amy Pascal. Is Pascal too generous with directors (like Nancy Myers, who the article notes was given $100 million to film last year’s underperforming rom-com, "The Holiday")? Is a $300 million plus budget merely par for the course with a surefire epic, effects-driven film like "Spider-Man 3," which ran months over schedule and shot on location in super-pricey Manhattan? And does any of it really matter if the movie turns a profit?

Click here for more of Masters’ article.

"Spider-Man 3" debuts May 4 (and you know you’ll be in line opening day).

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