if a studio makes a movie at little or no cost,
can it still lose money on it?
if a studio gets a movie for free, it has to pay to
advertise, market, and distribute it.
In the case
of Lara Croft:Tomb Raider, Paramount expended
about $39 million in prints, advertising, and other
marketing costs. To earn that sum back, the film needed
to gross over $78 million at the box office (since the
studio's share of that gross is slightly less than 50
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider did in fact make back
its marketing costs, but most films do not. Last year
(2003), the prints required for the opening of a studio
film cost, on average, $4.2 million. The advertising
cost another $34.8 million a title. And while the studios
spent an average of $39 million per film, they recovered
from the box office, on average, only $20.6 million.