Is Marvel Pinching Pennies For The Avengers?
Superhero movies aren't cheap. When X-Men first came out in 2000, it was working on a $75 million, which was actually cheap by modern standards (for reference, The Dark Knight had a budget of $185 million). In just a few months, though, we have what should be the biggest superhero movie of all time starting up: Joss Whedon's The Avengers. Combining four franchises into one film, The Avengers should be an epic event - but it won't be if Marvel decides to start pinching pennies.
Bleeding Cool is reporting that Marvel is trying their best to make the film as cheap as possible and is targeting a budget close to Sony's first Spider-Man film - which came in just under $140 million. According to the story's unnamed source, people behind the production have already walked because of the squeeze while others are holding steadfast, believing that they can play chicken with the studio by going over budget and making Marvel pick up the tab. The article says that the departures have delayed the pre-production stage, possibly for months, but it's unknown if it will affect the shooting schedule yet.
The risk of this always existed but us Marvel fans have always hoped that it wouldn't become an issue. The problem here is that of confidence. The Avengers is set to go into production before both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger hit theaters and the studio has no idea if people will actually want to see the characters on film. Obviously, if they are going to spend $250 million on an unprecedented superhero team up movie, they want to know that they will make $500 million back, which, at this point, is no guarantee. Obviously, by lowering the budget they have a much better chance to make a profit while the movie is still in theaters, but you can't make an Avengers movie for the price of Spider-Man. The wallcrawler is one hero who swings through the streets of Manhattan and has one-on-one fights with the bad guys. The Avengers is a group of seven heroes (if you include Black Widow, Nick Fury and Hawkeye) who are fighting evil on a massive scale, much bigger than one city. If true, this story should seriously worry Marvel fans. They promised us the movie that we've always wanted to see and now there's a risk that they won't give it to us properly.
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