Tuesday, November 9, 2010

7 Welles budgets, estimated in 2009 US dollars

Citizen Kane (1941) $10,380,000
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) $11,000,000
Lady from Shanghai (1947) $19,000,000
Macbeth (1948) $660,000
Touch of Evil (1958) $6,100,000
The Trial (1962) $9,200,000
Chimes at Midnight (1965) $5,300,000


Jaime said...

Is that using a straight inflation adjustment, or taking into account changes in production costs? If someone (as a stunt) "remakes" CITIZEN KANE using only $11 million, that'd be amazing.

Having said that, I think Guy Maddin is doing amazing things with very low budgets, not too far off from Welles in terms of optical effects and and other tricks. THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD cost about $3.5 million, and I believe that's his most expensive film.

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said...

Straight inflation adjustment, but I'd say that the costs of production haven't changed as much as salaries (especially for actors) have. But don't forget: Kane's cast consisted almost entirely of first-timers. I think you could easily make a film with as much going on in it as Kane in it for $11 million (you'd probably have to shoot HD, though).

Anonymous said...

The Welles budgets have more seeming correlation to quality in the end product then the Fassbinder numbers. Fassbinder made some of his best work at all budget ranges. Welles seemed to need a lot, but not too much. The biggest budgets and the smallest ones produced interesting work but it's in the middle of his own $$$ range that he seemed to thrive.

Pronoun Trouble Jr. said...

I suspect that the cost for Kane is lower than we'd expect because the full value of making a film in a Hollywood studio in 1940 is not reflected in the budget. If Welles had made the same film outside of the studio system at that time, everything else being equal, the cost would have been much higher.