VOTD: How Much Does Captain America Cost U.S. Taxpayers?

Robert Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldiuer

Many a comic book movie has contemplated the emotional cost of being a superhero. You’re constantly in peril. You regularly have to put your civilian life on hold while you go battle baddies. All your loved ones are at risk of being captured by the enemy at any moment. And it can really sting when the public you’ve worked so hard to save doesn’t seem all that grateful for your help.

But then there’s also the dollar cost of being a superhero. Sure, Steve Rogers may have started out as an middle-class kid from Brooklyn. But super-soldier serums and cutting-edge equipment don’t come cheap, and — since S.H.I.E.L.D. is a government agency — we taxpayers are the ones footing the bill. So how much does having a Captain America cost the U.S., really? After the jump, a video breaks down the total price tag.

Movieclips.com put together the video.

The site concludes that it costs roughly $54 million to create and maintain a Captain America. That’s not cheap by any means, but it’s only a fraction of the price tag for a Captain America movie — which, for the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, is around $170 million. That’s right, making a Captain America movie costs three times as much as making an actual Captain America does. At least by these calculations.

Which one is a better investment, though, is another question. Captain America boosts morale and saves lives, but it’s hard to assign a dollar value to those accomplishments. In contrast, you can definitely calculate how much Marvel Studios got back for their investment in Cap’s cinematic outings. The first Captain America movie brought in $370 million worldwide, and The Avengers raked in $1.5 billion.

Of course, all of that is assuming the figures above are reasonably accurate. For more on where exactly all of these numbers came from, Movieclips has a list of all their sources on the video’s YouTube page.

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