SPECTRE: Defending The Big +$300 Million Budget

edited June 2015 in SPECTRE Posts: 11,119
I have been having a look at all the official video's so far in greater detail. And I have to come to the conclusion that there are many "1st times" with this production. To such an extend, that I'm actually fully defending this 'insane' production budget. Let me explain this to you, but first here's the list of official video's:

12.04.2015: "SPECTRE" Teaser Trailer no#1 / Title Treatment:

02.11.2015: "SPECTRE" Videoblog no#1 "Austria shooting / Ice Chase":

02.26.2015: "SPECTRE" Videoblog no#2 "Pinewood shooting / UK shooting":

03.27.2015: "SPECTRE" Teaser Trailer no#2:

04.30.2015: "SPECTRE" Videoblog no#3 "Rome shooting / Car Chase":

06.10.2015: "SPECTRE" TV Trailer no#1 / Teaser Trailer no#3:

06.15.2015: "SPECTRE" Videoblog no#4 "Mexico Preparations 'Day Of The Dead':



So why do I fully defend this production budget? Let me enlighten this to you:

#01: It is perhaps the very first time that a big cultural event in a Bond film had to be recreated solely for a Bond film. Correct me if I'm wrong, but on all previous Bond productions the Junkanoo Carnaval, the Rio Carnaval or the Palio Horse Race actually really took place, and the Bond locations had to adjust their schedules to that. This time around for the Day Of The Dead Festival EVERYTHING was recreated up to scratch. Just have a look at that 4th videoblog. It still astonishes me. Perhaps the Funeral Scene from "LALD" was an exception, but then again that Day Of The Dead Festival was massive! In every aspect: Make-up, clothes department, number of extra's hired (I don't know if it was more than the Opera Scene in "QOS"), insanely big make-up/dress rooms, shutting down the entire inner city centre of Mexico City. It's simply one of the biggest "productions inside a production" ever on a Bond film.

#02: The bespoke Aston Martin DB10. Let's face it, this is the very first time ever that a completely new car (body) has been solely designed for a Bond film. Director Sam Mendes and the Bond producers did it in close collaboration with the technicians from Aston Martin. The Aston Martin DB5? Wonderful car, but it was not specifically designed for James Bond. Aston Martin DBS? Same thing. Also with all other Bond cars. On top of that, as you can see in the 3rd videoblog, 8 different versions were designed and produced for "SPECTRE". No rich oil sheik will be able to buy this DB10! And then have a look how many km's of roads in Rome had to be closed down. Yes, we saw similar big closures of cities, like Hamburg, San Fransisco, Paris, Istanbul. But really, just look at the ground map, Basically the entire city centre of Rome was used for this car chase.

#03: Price tags of actors and crewmembers is usually an underrated discussion topic on here, but looking at the cast of, for instance "Mission: Impossible 5" and "The Man From UNCLE", the cast for "SPECTRE" seems way more expensive. They are way "Hotter in Hollywood" right now then, let's say an Armie Hammer. Besides Daniel Craig, we have A-listed actors like Ralph Fiennes, Léa Seydoux, Dave Bautista (trust me, he IS expensive, ever since "Guardians Of The Galaxy") and the big Christoph Waltz onboard. Those actors don't have the same price tag as, let's say, Sean Harris (villain in "Rogue Nation"). On top of that, have a clear look at the crew dear Bond fans. Sam Mendes (Oscar winning director), Lee Smith (2 times Oscar nominated editor), Hoyte van Hoytema (Oscar nominated cinematographer), Dennis Gassner (Oscar winning production designer), Per Hallberg/Karen Baker Landers (3 times Oscar winning sound editors, 1 for "Skyfall") and Thomas Newman (12 times Oscar nominated composer). Now before you start criticising Newman again, he only just did his first real action movie with "Skyfall". Similar to what John Barry did with "From Russia With Love". Because only his 2nd film "Goldfinger" really made him famous.

#04: The amount of locations clearly exceeds those used in "Skyfall". Perhaps similar exotic locations like in "Quantum Of Solace", but so far every locations, Mexico, Austria, Italy, Morocco and UK seem to have very elaborate action set-ups. Much bigger than I've seen in previous three films. Perhaps it is becaause all of them, except Morocco, involve chase sequences.

#05: Real life action still seems to be the key ingredient for a Bond film, and especially for "SPECTRE". You know, current Marvel movies and other superheroes do NOT film that heavily across the globe or do NOT have realistic action sequences. Instead, they are way more on-location near the studio's, and on top of that CGI in those movies is heavily used. Now CGI isn't cheap either, but it has become cheaper since so many movies are using it. Bond uses CGI as well, but certainly not to the scale of, let's say "Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron" or "Man Of Steel". The same goes for location shooting. I think that drives up the production a lot too, as opposed to much more studio filming.


Please correct me if I make some mistakes. But I do think "SPECTRE" is not just expensive for the sake of being expensive. I think I clearly see now how insanely big the production of "SPECTRE" is as opposed to its immediate predecessors. But the huge price tag is used not just for nothing. It's used to give US "The Biggest Bond Of All". And yes, it does sound cliché at times, but if it's really the case Bond film after Bond film, then it perhaps sounds cliché, but it's simply the truth. "SPECTRE" seems to be the...ehm...."Thunderball" of our times. I'm glad Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson were so adamant towards the more critical movie companies Sony Pictures and MGM.

Like Sam Mendes said back in December: "....the stage were budgets going to die"

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Comments

  • Posts: 6,601
    As much as I like to defend everything reg. Spectre,
    1 and 2 are just not really necessary, certainly not 2. Its a car, just a bloody car after all and for audiences it won't make a difference whether it is extra designed or not.

    As for 1 - we will see, if all this "waste" of money is pro or contra the film is the end.

    I hope, they really ARE tis confident to go this big in a year like this.
  • MalloryMallory Are you ready to get back to work?
    Posts: 993
    As long as the script determines the budget, and not the other way around - then does it really matter? I would hate to think they had the "we have $300 million so lets go nuts" mentality.
  • The cuts in the script for budget reasons are documented in the leaks.
  • Posts: 11,119
    The cuts in the script for budget reasons are documented in the leaks.

    I didn't read the leaked screenplays. But maybe the final screenplay, with which Sam Mendes is working, is actually much better, more streamlined and has better plot/narrative. The fact is, that aspect, about how good the screenplay is, we don't know.

    Moreover, if cuts were made in the screenplay, then I don't think it's a simple "overall budget cut". Perhaps the budget cuts happened at some locations, but were re-distributed again to other aspects of the production. Fact is: We don't know.

  • Posts: 2,081
    Is the 300 million confirmed? If that's really the actual budget, it just crazy, in my opinion. Obviously that much, or even more, can be used on a movie, one way or another, but why should it be? Just more money won't mean a better movie.
  • Posts: 589
    The cuts in the script for budget reasons are documented in the leaks.
    Nope, the cut requests are documented
  • Posts: 11,119
    The cuts in the script for budget reasons are documented in the leaks.
    Nope, the cut requests are documented

    That's a slightly different......take on these leaked scripts ;-). I also heard that Broccoli was very adamant in getting this insane budget, screenplay (difficulties) included. I mean, if the sets in the leaked screenplay were that elaborate, and if Barbara wanted to maintain these aspects, then the cut requests from Sony/MGM were nothing more than requests that didn't get into practice.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited June 2015 Posts: 23,883
    If a large portion of the budget has been spent recreating the Day of the Dead Festival, then I don't know if I'd call that a good use of the budget.

    The Aston likely did not cost much, because I'm assuming Aston Martin are covering much of the cost. Nobody has done more for that brand compared to Bond, or perhaps Lord Brett Sinclair (Persuaders) so they owe Bond a lot.

    RE: locations - hopefully we get to really feel the locations this time. I've found on a lot of recent Bond films that they don't really use the locations as well as they used to. QoS was definitely guilty of that, because we couldn't really make out what was going on much of the time....say during the Palio di Siena. They should let it breathe more. I'm open to less locations and more time spent in each location/better use of each location, if it reduces budget next time.

    RE: actors - I don't mind them blowing some budget on the actors, but we really don't need name brands to make the film a success. GE & CR did perfectly fine while casting relative unknowns. In a way, I love what Campbell did with both Izabella, Famke, Mads & Eva....he somewhat established their English speaking careers. So I'm open to 'no name' brands, as long as they're good.

    On the whole I'm with @Tuulia on this...if it really is $300m that was spent, I question whether it was absolutely necessary.
  • Posts: 11,119
    bondjames wrote: »
    On the whole I'm with @Tuulia on this...if it really is $300m that was spent, I question whether it was absolutely necessary.

    But then again, what real "hurt" could it do to the quality of the film? This big budget could also be a great facilitator for a wonderful story and plot, that works much better given the lush locations, cars and extra's. I'm not saying it's factual --DAD also had an insane budget--, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    And don't forget the budget increases in terms of percentages from DN, to FRWL, to GF and TB.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited June 2015 Posts: 23,883
    bondjames wrote: »
    On the whole I'm with @Tuulia on this...if it really is $300m that was spent, I question whether it was absolutely necessary.

    But then again, what real "hurt" could it do to the quality of the film? This big budget could also be a great facilitator for a wonderful story and plot, that works much better given the lush locations, cars and extra's. I'm not saying it's factual --DAD also had an insane budget--, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    And don't forget the budget increases in terms of percentages from DN, to FRWL, to GF and TB.

    No, it's not a bad thing. Not at all. I love seeing all the Bond budget up on the screen (TB, MR), although I did not feel that way with DAD.

    It's just that if a big budget makes it all the more necessary for the film to do big box office in order to recoup an insane budget, or if it makes lead actors tired (due to longer location work etc.) and less likely to want to come back to Bond, or if it results in longer times between Bond films, then I say cut the budget and give us something more streamlined.

    The bigger budget Bonds have been good, but I actually prefer some of the smaller budget ones on the whole (CR, GE, FRWL, LTK etc.).
  • edited June 2015 Posts: 4,619
    I didn't read the leaked screenplays. But maybe the final screenplay, with which Sam Mendes is working, is actually much better, more streamlined and has better plot/narrative. The fact is, that aspect, about how good the screenplay is, we don't know.

    People who have read the early December version of the script do know how good the final screenplay is. Sure, they probably changed a few minor things during filming, but it's not like they rewrote the whole thing in January.
  • Posts: 12,292
    Yeah the December script was great. It's funny really because a lot of people (including me) were slagging them off and praising Logan when Skyfall came out but when Logan was given the chance to write a script on his own, it was actually pretty bad and Purvis and Wade had to return to save it.

    I think more money doesn't necessarily mean anything (look at Quantum Of Solace) and 300 million is a ridiculous amount. However, judging by the script SPECTRE is a pretty big, epic sort of film (there's one sequence in particular which I think probably cost them a lot) so it probably did need a lot of money. 300 million though, that's too much for any film imo. I mean Goldeneye, which still feels like a grand, epic, big Bond film, was made for just 60 million, 240 million less than SPECTRE. I think I'm alright with this though so long as the budget increase is actually noticeable. As I said, QoS was made for a lot more money than CR, but it didn't really feel like it imo. I was struggling to see where the money went for Skyfall a lot of the time too, since they seemed to film quite a lot of it at Pinewood.
  • Posts: 7,599
    There is no defense for a 300 million budget unless you are filming two or three movies simultaneously.
    The last two 007 outings did not put the money on the big screen, in comparison the MI movies are cheaper to make and really use the colour locale, something lacking from the last two movies.
  • Posts: 6,601
    I wouldnt give a damn, but since it means, tjey have to do the billion hurdle in a year like this, its not smart to say the least. Only time can tell and I hope, their confidence pays off.
  • Posts: 11,119
    Yeah the December script was great. It's funny really because a lot of people (including me) were slagging them off and praising Logan when Skyfall came out but when Logan was given the chance to write a script on his own, it was actually pretty bad and Purvis and Wade had to return to save it.

    I think more money doesn't necessarily mean anything (look at Quantum Of Solace) and 300 million is a ridiculous amount. However, judging by the script SPECTRE is a pretty big, epic sort of film (there's one sequence in particular which I think probably cost them a lot) so it probably did need a lot of money. 300 million though, that's too much for any film imo. I mean Goldeneye, which still feels like a grand, epic, big Bond film, was made for just 60 million, 240 million less than SPECTRE. I think I'm alright with this though so long as the budget increase is actually noticeable. As I said, QoS was made for a lot more money than CR, but it didn't really feel like it imo. I was struggling to see where the money went for Skyfall a lot of the time too, since they seemed to film quite a lot of it at Pinewood.

    I wonder....how much is true of this $300 Million production budget. What....figures did http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=bond23.htm and http://pro.boxoffice.com/statistics/movies/bond-23-2012?q=skyfall use to calculate the production budget of "Skyfall"?

    The one on BoxOfficeMojo.com talks about a $200 Million production budget, whereas BoxOffice.com calculated a production budget of $255 Million. So....how certain are we that the production budget for "SPECTRE" really is $300 Million?
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited June 2015 Posts: 23,883
    $200m is the number I knew for SF.

    @Gustav_Graves, given what we know about SP, it seems conceivable that the budget is at least 1/3 more, which in turn makes $300m seem very likely at the least.
  • Posts: 5,764
    Yeah the December script was great.

    I'll take your word for it! \m/

    Is it too much to ask for if you could please elaborate on what you thought was great about it (overall elements, themes), without going into any story details of course? It would be much appreciated!
  • edited June 2015 Posts: 11,119
    bondjames wrote: »
    $200m is the number I knew for SF.

    @Gustav_Graves, given what we know about SP, it seems conceivable that the budget is at least 1/3 more, which in turn makes $300m seem very likely at the least.

    And that's a calculation I question. I mean, BoxOfficeMojo said $200 Million, but BoxOffice.com said $255 Million for SF.

    It also could very well be that this $300 Million leaked figure for SP is in essence higher than what websites like BoxOfficeMojo.com and BoxOffice.com predict.

    What if we find Skyfall-Leaks? Perhaps the real adjusted production budget figure for SF then will be $275 Million.
  • Posts: 2,081
    bondjames wrote: »
    RE: actors - I don't mind them blowing some budget on the actors, but we really don't need name brands to make the film a success. GE & CR did perfectly fine while casting relative unknowns. In a way, I love what Campbell did with both Izabella, Famke, Mads & Eva....he somewhat established their English speaking careers. So I'm open to 'no name' brands, as long as they're good.

    I agree. Being good and suitable for a role should always be the first consideration. I think having some well-known actors, too, is a good thing - as long as they are indeed good and suitable, not just famous. As a general rule I think spending money on actors is reasonable. Not any amount of money, though, and I assume they aren't doing that. Surely the budget wouldn't be 300 million instead of, say, 200 million because of these particular actors.

    Personally I am most likely to see any movie because of actors I like in it - regardless of genre, subject, director etc. I'm sure I'm not the only one. People can enjoy the no-name ones just as much - but then they are already watching the movie. Franchises will always have that extra buzz simply because they're franchises, and there's that familiarity already, but franchise movies can also get more buzz because of the actors in them. That doesn't mean they need to be huge stars or everyone needs to be an established name.
    bondjames wrote: »

    if it makes lead actors tired (due to longer location work etc.) and less likely to want to come back to Bond

    What do you mean? Why would longer location work be bad for actors? Many actors much prefer location work to studio work.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    I believe it is in fact $275m for SF.

    $200m production and $75m marketing, That is my understanding.
  • Posts: 11,119
    bondjames wrote: »
    I believe it is in fact $275m for SF.

    $200m production and $75m marketing, That is my understanding.

    So then we should also say something like this, no?

    "SPECTRE":
    $225 Million production budget
    $075 Million marketing budget =
    $300 Million total production budget --> the leaked budget.

    No?

    If we can not answer this question, then perhaps.....things could be slightly different, or should be seen in a different perspective.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited June 2015 Posts: 23,883
    Yes, maybe so. I have not read the leaks (although I have been visiting the leaks thread from time to time) so I don't know what others know about the specific SP budget from the leak details. I thought $300m was the approx production budget for SP though. Not production + marketing.

    What you say makes sense. I also know almost 30 million pounds (yes pounds sterling) of that approx $275m SF budget was financed by Heineken. There were other amounts paid for by other sponsors too. SP will of course have funding like this as well, which will reduce the overall cost to EON/Sony/MGM
  • Posts: 725
    The problem with all the various budget figures for any big film is that they are all smoke and mirrors. The producers and studios all lie about it because big BO can still mean a flop on a huge budget. Bond is even more complicated to read because of the 10s of millions in product placement, so we don't know what the heck the real budget is. But one thing I've always read is that the marketing budget is usually at least half the production budget, particularly on a huge film that needs big WW marketing. So if SP costs anywhere between $250 (according to some of the later leaks) and $300 million, the marketing budget is going to be between $125 and $150 million.

    If this sucker is gonna cost, nearly $500m to produce and market, it had better make 1 billion or it will under perform. That's why $300m is just too big. But then lots of other huge films are probably fairly near that 300m figure too, who knows, its just impossible to get straight budget figures from studios. Another gift of the leaks, is that SP will be saddled with this $300m prod. figure in the press even with denials.
  • Posts: 11,119
    Yes, I'm still quite sad these leaks actually did happen. I mean, it really hurt Sony Pictures. But then we suddenly think other, bigger, movie companies like Universal and Disney are conducting business more ethically? I wonder what secrets would have risen to the surface, if someone extended the leaks to Disney or Universal.

    In any case, I stand with my opening post, and I do think that the production budget of SP is actually slightly higher than SF. And that it CAN make sense for the quality of the film if the budget is anywhere between $275 and $300 million.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited June 2015 Posts: 23,883
    Just to confirm, I really think $275M to $300M is the supposed production budget of SP compared to the $200M production budget of SF. From what I can see to date, that makes sense, because they are certainly spending quite a bit more on SP than on SF.

    As smitty says, that means we have to add roughly 50% ($150M) for marketing, although in Bond's case they get a lot of this back through the product placement. So probably $400M is the overall cost for production + marketing when it's all said and done, if the $300M (just for production) budget is accurate.

    They may be able to make that back just in the US this time around (optimistically), and the rest will be profit.
  • Posts: 725
    The sad thing about the leaks to us Bond fans is that SP got really dragged through the gutter in the Sony hack. Script problems, the full scripts themselves and lots of related emails all got spilled on the net and in the gleeful press, it was destructive. Sony may be more indulgent and badly managed than other studios, but all huge films go through all kinds of chaos in production. But poor SP's dirty linen was out there for the press to go to town on. I guess it could have been worse.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    It could definitely have been much worse. The hack fortunately happened at the end of last year, and has been somewhat forgotten.

    If it had happened in the next few months, then SP would have really been up s#!t creek, because everyone would have had more interest in talking about it as the film's release date neared.
  • Posts: 11,119
    The bad thing also is, that the positive things from these leaks were forgotten. Because, let's face it, so far every Bond film has a "big explosion 3rd act". But I also heard that the first 2/3rd of the script was actually very good.

    The good thing about these leaks were that the Bond producers and director were adamant at doing much better. One example could be this British actress Brigitte Millar. It seems her role has been completely dropped, as I don't see her name popping up anymore on IMDB. They could have very well made the film much better.

    Anyway, let's stay a bit on topic. All I want to say is that I don't understand why its production budget is instantly a negative assett. I think I gave some good arguments as of why SP could be the most expensI've production ever after "Avatar". CGI-vehicles, like all those Marvel films, could therefore logically slightly cheaper. As demand for CGI grows, its price tags will go down with them as well.
  • Posts: 6,601
    Sure you gave reasons, where the huge costs came from. Question is, how much sense that makes. That remains to be seen. The film will be judged by its final BO, not whether or not it had a wonderful PTS, for example. Sad, but true and logic. Its about money, after all.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    edited June 2015 Posts: 16,029
    Why does the budget need defending anyway? Has anyone said that 300 million dollars to make this movie is too much? It's just opinions anyway if it's too high or not high enough. It's the quality of the movie that's important, not how much money went into it and we won't know how good or bad the movie will be until later this year. I guess I just don't understand the point of the thread. It just seems to early to be debating this subject given we haven't seen the product yet.
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