After a long pandemic hiatus, MCU is back on the big screen with Black Widow. Now we know that the movie is raking in big at the box office. But this might have made you curious about the budget of the movie. So note that Black Widow was made on a budget of $200 million. Now, we can definitely see your eyebrows shoot up to your forehead.
So let us explain why Natasha’s solo movie needed a big budget. But first, you need to understand the budget of the other MCU movies.
Know that Thor: Ragnarok cost $180m while Ant-Man cost somewhere between $130m and $170m. On the other hand, Black Panther costs $200m, just like Iron Man 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy. However, these movies all used heavy CGI, so their high budgets made sense.
Also, we need to mention that even though the MCU is one of the biggest and most successful franchises in the world, but they didn’t start with high-budget movies. Phase 1 movies like Captain America: The First Avenger and The Incredible Hulk cost $140m to make.
Know that the first two Thor movies had a $150m budget. However, the first Avengers movie had a higher budget of $225 million. Budgets started to increase in Phases 2 and 3. Avengers: Age of Ultron cost about $350m, and Avengers: Infinity War cost $300m. As expected, Avengers: Endgame takes the budget cake with a $400m budget. However, even during these expensive Phases, there were movies like the Ant-Man films which had low budgets at $130m.
In comparison, Black Widow is a smaller scale movie, and there were no characters that needed full CGI or even extensive makeup. As such, this makes us feel that the budget was unusually high.
So, leaving out the Avengers movies, Black Widow’s budget is definitely on the higher side, especially after taking into account the lack of other MCU actor appearances or cameos. As for actor salaries, know that as per The Hollywood Reporter, Scarlett Johansson’s contract is worth $15m, which puts her on par with the likes of Chris Evans’ and Chris Hemsworth’s Infinity War salaries.
Beyond that, the main talent in the movie is mostly first-timers, who, as per THR do command less. So even though actor salaries make up a significant amount of a movie’s budget, but it’s nowhere near the scale of the Avengers movies. Also, as we said before, logically it should have cost less than the other movies because it’s a spy movie.
However, when you actually look at the movie or even at its trailers, you will notice that there are several action sequences, locations, and sets, that had to be fully rendered. This includes the huge Red Room sequence and the Red Guardian prison break sequence that surely would have stretched the budget of any mid-level MCU film way too far.
So overall, Black Widow feels like a mega-blockbuster, and it shows during the action sequences and set pieces. However, Black Widow has already been a mega-hit in its opening weekend, even in the pandemic conditions. So Disney shouldn’t worry about how they will be making back that money. In fact, right now, it looks like a typical MCU blockbuster movie that will rake in a tonne of money.
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