The original costs of Star Wars

Check out this breakdown of the original budget of Star Wars. Circa 1980 from David Pirie’s Anatomy of the Movies, it lays out the price of the original special effects, actor’s precentages and more. Of course the revenue numbers are wildly out of date, but it’s interesting nonetheless. See the whole thing at Film Detail.

2 thoughts on “The original costs of Star Wars

  1. Emily

    I would be very interested to know if those actor percentages were a one-time deal or if they continue to get money from each time it’s in the theater. I’ve always assumed that it was *not* a one-time thing, but I’ve never seen it in writing anywhere.

    I also know they’ve never gotten a cent from merch, etc (as Carrie Fisher has said many times); I’m talking strictly about the films.

  2. Doyle

    It all depends on their contracts. Merchandising rights probably weren’t part of the actors’ initial negotiations. Mostly because there was never a film that was merchandised like Star Wars, well, before Star Wars.

    At that time, though, before most films were really making their way to television and there was still a possibility of smaller, rolling releases/revivals…I imagine that there was at least a clause establishing whether or not they made anything off of subsequent releases. There was probably some kind of statute of limitations on it, though, or it was established that the actors would see diminishing returns over however-many years until the payout reached zero.

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