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Pixar chief touches on Elemental’s large budget


As of late, films have had rather inflated — to the public’s eye — budgets. The movies could spend well over 300 million before the film makes it to the marketing phase, and while for some they’re guaranteed winners, this isn’t always the best course of action.

Pixar boss Jim Morris spoke with Variety about the hefty $200 million production budget for its latest animated feature, Elemental. While the film has since come around from a slow start, it still only narrowly manages to succeed, raking the legacy film company just shy of $430 million so far.

Budgets are a huge component of how a movie can survive. If it has a realistic budget that can accommodate specialty things with stellar ideas and storytelling, mixed in with a modest marketing budget, it can profit. Or you can be like Cocaine Bear and go for a small budget and lean into the absurd.

Morris is gunning for at least $460 million for the film’s final number, of course he wants more like any other exec and industry person would, but at least he’s setting a goal that isn’t too far off.

The $200 million budget is kind of a large amount to put into a new IP, even if it’s Pixar. Lately, its films have fared… less than stellar with audiences. It also doesn’t help that Disney leaned heavily into encouraging people to watch their stuff on Disney+ during COVID, even releasing movies to the service when theaters were reopening.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the closing chapter of the Indiana Jones franchise as we know it, only narrowly broke even, though, it likely hasn’t if we consider the film’s marketing budget.

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