SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - DECEMBER 09: Director James Cameron attends the press conference for "Avatar: The Way Of The Water" on December 09, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
How James Cameron Went $20 Million Over Budget On Terminator 2 And Got Away With It
When speaking of the amount that indie production company Carolco alloted for the budget of “Terminator 2,” director James Cameron revealed, "[$80 million] is what Carolco greenlit with a big gulp. And then as production went on it crept up. And as it was kind of approaching $100 million they were blanching, [...] it certainly felt like gloom and doom at the time."
Expenses included $1 million for the "largest stunt budget ever," according to The New York Times, $17 million for the CGI liquid metal effects, another $17 million to acquire the Terminator rights, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s private jet. Carolco co-founder Mario Kassar told Deadline, "It was all over the news. [Terminator 2] was going to bankrupt Carolco."
The final budget was around $102 million, but the film ultimately recouped it, raking in $515 million at the global box office. Kassar said he wasn't too worried, explaining, “I would only run the numbers for foreign [profits]; I knew what I was getting for the US [...] I was sometimes at 110% above the budget before I started shooting, so I had no problem with the numbers."