08/14/2012 02:38 pm ET

J.J. Abrams On Budgets: 'Preposterous And Embarrassing' That Movies Cost So Much

J.J. Abrams directed big-budget spectacles like "Mission: Impossible 3" and "Star Trek," but even he knows movie costs are out of control.

"It is preposterous and embarrassing that movies cost what they do," the director and producer told Ben Fritz of the Los Angeles Times.

Between his blockbusters -- like the upcoming "Star Trek 2," which the Times stipulates costs upward of $180 million -- Abrams was able to make smaller-scale films like "Super 8" and "Cloverfield." Of course, with Hollywood economics the way they are, not all filmmakers are as lucky.

Despite $184 million in global ticket sales, Spike Lee was never able to get a sequel to "Inside Man" off the ground.

"That film made a ton, and it didn’t even cost a lot," Lee told Moviefone, lamenting the fact that "Inside Man 2" didn't happen.

The same issue befell Adam McKay with "Anchorman 2," though the director was eventually able to put plans in motion for the sequel.

"[T]heir numbers machine purely looked at the box office. It didn’t project off of DVD sales and TV and cultural influence. It stopped at the box office," McKay told THR when discussing the studio's reluctance to make the film.

All of which is surprising, since -- as Abrams states -- the budgets for some recent Hollywood films crested $250 million. However, those kind of films might become an anomaly in Hollywood. Universal started belt-tightening last year.

"We looked at the economics of ['At the Mountains of Madness' and 'Dark Tower'] and it just didn't make sense for us, for what we would have to put out for what we could make back," Ron Meyer, Universal Pictures president said last year, when asked about "At the Mountain of Madness" and "Dark Tower," two high-profile films the studio jettisoned. "It didn't feel secure enough for us, and that's the reason we didn't do it."

For more on Abrams' thoughts, head over to the Los Angeles Times.

[via LAT]


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