Posted on Thursday, March 19th, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Update: Time has added the following to its article: “The original version of this story misstated the cost of the film Avatar as being in excess of $300 million. The correct figure is in excess of $200 million.”
When James Cameron‘s Avatar was announced a couple years back, we wondered if it would be the most expensive movie of all time. There have been a few films since the initial announcement that topped Fox’s proposed $200 million budget. Spider-Man 3 producers insisted that the film’s budget didn’t exceed $270 million, but some reports claimed a number closer to $350 million. But like most films, and especially films made on the cutting edge, the initial budget and the budget after all is said and done, are vastly different.
Time Magazine mentions in their latest 3D article that the budget for Avatar has ballooned to a “cost in excess of $300 million”, and I’m pretty sure they mean before press and advertising. To this day, the highest estimated film budget was $300 million for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. So If Time Magazine is correct, Avatar is now the most expensive movie of all time. The article has a bunch of cool tidbits. For instance, Steven Spielberg predicts Avatar will be the biggest 3-D live-action film ever. Cameron says that “every film I’m planning to do will be in 3-D.” Peter Jackson makes the claim that he believes “that almost any movie benefits from 3-D.”
And best of all, the reporter got to see some footage from Avatar and claims that he “couldn’t tell what was real and what was animated”. John Quittner writes: “Even knowing that the 9-ft.-tall blue, dappled dude couldn’t possibly be real. The scenes were so startling and absorbing that the following morning, I had the peculiar sensation of wanting to return there, as if Pandora were real.”