With The Dark Knight Rises set to release into theaters nationwide this Friday, now is the time to take a look at the film’s production cost as it often says a lot about a film. Bigger budgets often mean more action and with early reviews promising just that, we cannot help but wonder what Warner Bros. gave director Christopher Nolan to complete his Batman trilogy.
The official number is $250 million–a figure $65 million higher than The Dark Knight and $100 million more than Batman Begins. While it is assumed by some that the movie cost even more than this reported amount, this will likely be the only number that we get out of the studio. This expenditure includes everything except marketing and actual distribution of product. Logistical costs are somewhat minor, so a ‘whole cost’ discussion might lie with how much money was blown on promotion.
Warner Bros. seems a bit more frugal in the category than its rivals, so I would suggest a price similar to what was seen with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The studio spent $150 million to market both parts of that film suggesting $75 million apiece with maybe a slight hedge on the series’ finale. This implies something between $75 and $100 million for The Dark Knight Rises bringing the final price tag to $350-375 million assuming miscellaneous expenditures came in around $25 million.
Compared to The Avengers, this is more expensive as Disney spent $220 million to produce the superhero ensemble with another $100 million in marketing might. In all, we are talking about a maximum deviation of 10% between the two in terms of shear monetary weight these blockbuster efforts had put behind them meaning that there likely will not be a scenario where one makes more money at the box office while the other has the edge in profitability. It will all come down to ticket sales to determine which of these big dogs becomes 2012′s top theatrical offering.
Stay tuned for updates this weekend on how it all goes down.