The Adjusted For Inflation Game

We have been saying it for a while here at Last Movie Outpost. Movies are just too damned expensive these days. When middling Marvel entries are knocking on the door of $300 million, and a movie coming in at just under $65 million is considered low-budget, something has clearly gone very, very wrong.


But wait, we hear you cry… well, not you, because Outposters are far too clever to think something so simplistic… everything has gone up! We are in a cost of living crisis as governments try to hide their near bankruptcy by inflating away debt. This means everything has soared and our incomes are squeezed like never before. Of course, movies are more expensive these days. This is what a normie, from “out there” would say.

To which, we say:

Welcome To The Adjusted For Inflation Game!

You can play along with this game at home, dear Outposters. It is quite simple. Pick a movie, any movie, and find out its production budget. Then adjust it up to today’s price based on the inflation using any online inflation calculator. This will then prove beyond all reasonable doubt that movies are simply too expensive these days, and budgets have long since left inflation, and indeed reality, behind. Here are a few to get you started:


Shot entirely on location, with huge sequences out on the water. Notoriously troubled production and way over budget. 1975 cost: $9 million / 2023 cost: $51.5 million

Star Wars

Groundbreaking sci-fi space opera, created new VFX techniques as they went. Again, notoriously over budget with a concerned studio. 1977 cost: $11 million / 2023 cost: $63 million

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Location-heavy stunt extravaganza, at scale!  From two Hollywood heavyweights who could name their price. 1981 cost: $20 million / 2023 cost: $114 million


One of the greatest, if not the greatest, Western ever made. Stacked full of A-Listers on full sets. 1992 cost: $14.4 million / 2023 cost: $31.6 million

Jurassic Park

Basically redefined digital VFX for the modern age, created life-sized animatronics, and shot on location in Hawaii. 1992 cost: $63 million / 2023 cost: $134 million


Employing one of Hollywood’s hottest talents, at the time, in the lead role and featuring battle scenes on a scale not seen for decades. 1995 cost: $53 million / 2023 cost: $107 million


The very definition of a period epic, with costumes, sets and props galore all requiring specific creation for the movie. 2000 cost: $103 million / 2023 cost: $184 million

Superman: The Movie

The biggest budget ever, at that point, but was actually two movies as the sequel was mostly shot at the same time. 1978 cost: $55 million / 2023 cost: $259.5 million

So there we have it, dear Outposters. Superman: The Movie was the only one above that seems comparable, cost-wise, with today’s standard blockbuster budget. That was two movies for the price of one, and was the most expensive movie ever made at that point in time.

So pretty much all large blockbusters now equal the “most expensive movie ever made (1978 style)” that was Superman? Really?


Using this rough, and not at all scientific method, we are forced to float the thesis that movies, right now, in 2023 are between 25% and 50% more expensive than they should be, and have been for a few years now.

Over to you. What interesting historical comparisons can you find, and what’s your thesis?


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