With Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel set to hit theaters tomorrow, it might worth a moment to take a look at the film’s budget. The sci-fi blockbuster sports high quality visuals and a ton of unique sets which makes the effort look pricey, but it actuality it is one of the cheapest ‘big budget’ films of the year. Prometheus’ price tag came in between $120-130 million–a number roughly half the amount put into The Avengers and Men in Black III.
It was not always supposed to be this cheap though as Ridley Scott originally conceived the feature with a much heftier budget in the $250 million range. While the movie could theoretically make back that amount thanks to the director’s street cred in the genre, Fox was simply unwilling to go full tilt on an R-rated picture. The move is being perceived a good one by the studio as many of today’s films have bloated budgets that make profitability an uphill battle once marketing is factored in.
Marketing costs behind Prometheus remain a mystery at this time. It is widely assumed that the budget for promotion came in well under the blockbuster norm of $80+ million simply because so much of the movie’s advertisements hinged on viral internet shorts. Even though $80 million is theoretically possible for this movie, it is highly doubtful that Fox went beyond that figure thanks to Prometheus’ built in fan base.
Early tracking has the film grossing north of $50 million in its opening weekend implying that Prometheus will indeed make back its initial investment and go onto spawn the sequel effort that has been alluded to in the press these past few weeks.