Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Matt Damon Rescue Missions Have Cost Hollywood An Insane Amount Of Money


From cinemablend, Oftentimes, actors get typecast in certain roles. They become synonymous with a particular character, or even a type of character. While we’d never noticed this before, it appears the same has quietly been happening with Matt Damon. He plays "guy being rescued" an awful lot. What’s more, not only does Matt Damon routinely require rescuing, but Hollywood has spent an awful lot of money, both in reality and within the fiction of the films, in order to get him home safely.

BGR, which did the math on this, noticed this repeated need to rescue Matt Damon and has put together the numbers on what it cost to make those movies, along with an estimate of what it would actually cost to do the thing that happens in the movie in order to bring him back from a distant place. There are eight different films that require a Damon extraction. Some require simple helicopter escapes while others require intergalactic travel.

Movie Budgets

Courage under Fire: $46m
Saving Private Ryan: $70m
Titan AE: $75m
Syriana: $50m
Green Zone: $100m
Elysium: $115m
Interstellar: $165m
The Martian: $108m
TOTAL: $729m

Fictional Costs

My estimates, costs are in 2015 currency
Courage Under Fire (Gulf War 1 helicopter rescue): $300k
Saving Private Ryan (WW2 Europe search party): $100k
Titan AE (Earth evacuation spaceship): $200B
Syriana (Middle East private security return flight): $50k
Green Zone (US Army transport from Middle East): $50k
Elysium (Space station security deployment and damages): $100m
Interstellar (Interstellar spaceship): $500B
The Martian (Mars mission): $200B
TOTAL: $900B plus change

All of the numbers are in 2015 dollars so things are not financially accurate for their era. In 1944 dollars, for example, the World War II Europe search party for Saving Private Ryan would have actually been cheaper. Although, by the time we actually have the ability to mount a rescue on Mars, it will probably also cost significantly more than $200 billion. Modern numbers are probably about as middle of the road as we’re going to get.

BGR does explain how the calculations were to come up with the estimation of the cost of an interstellar spacecraft. Since we’ve never actually made one of those, the cost is even more conjecture than the rest of the chart. Still, it’s a great story. The $729 million in production costs is an interesting number unto itself. Hollywood has spent near $1 billion on movies that include rescues of Matt Damon. Did somebody in Hollywood notice this trend long before the public and think there was repeated box office success in saving Damon’s life? Because it's working.

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