Is there a way to find out what the official budget of a Movie or TV show is?

I'm aware that Box Office Mojo is a fairly reliable resource to find the estimated gross of a movie, but I haven't come across any similar type of database that discusses budgetary aspects.

Whilst Box Office gross is a good indicator as to a film's commercial success, I can't help but feeling like the metric is lacking without knowing their budgets.

I'm aware that it's common working practice to keep these details out of public scrutiny, but do the studios have to declare this information at any point, and if so is this information publicly accessible or speculated upon with some reference anywhere?

  • 1
    Most notable movies on wikipedia have their budgets listed,if you follow the source link you will most likely end up on "Box Office Mojo",but on occasion you can stumble upon a different more reliable source. – Mentales Jan 20 '14 at 16:58
  • Have you heard of The Numbers? – Oliver_C Jan 21 '14 at 20:28
  • baselineintel.com will give you full information at a cost. Their parent site is: studiosystem.com – user31085 Feb 12 '16 at 17:33

Try "THE NUMBERS" which has a section on budgets:

Caveats apply:

  • all Hollywood accounting is fictional
  • budgets are mainly designed to ensure maximal grants / tax breaks / investment and are most often grossly inflated (and rarely understated)
  • public versions of budgets of good movies often pick up costs of other movies that do less well to hide studio failures
  • studios are highly incentivised to ensure movies make as little profit as possible because that would mean paying out "net points" to participants. THey add general studio costs and thereby ensure that the studio 'central operations' makes the bulk of the profits (which they don't share with anyone else)
  • "Star Wars has never made a profit" tells you all you need to know about Hollywood accounting

The Internet Movie Database lists the budget on the main page of a movie under the heading Box Office.

I haven't yet found a resource for television budgets. It seems accountability is less. The reasons I've found so far are

  • Many actors want their salaries secret.

  • Since tickets are not sold, "weekend profits" is less a marketing tool.

  • Advertisers do not always want to tell how much they pay (which is where primary budgeting is derived, with reruns, syndication and DVD/Bluray being secondary).

  • Budgets can change from episode to episode depending on things like locations, guest stars and contract renewals.

I've been looking, but do not expect to find a definitive Db.

  • and for Television shows? – John Smith Optional Jan 20 '14 at 17:20
  • I added to my answer. I do not think there is a Db, unless it is a paid or hidden site for industry professionals, or something like IMDb Pro ($16/month), maybe. For a while I received Daily Variety (had to stop because it's so expensive) and I don't remember them covering TV budgets either. – Meat Trademark Jan 20 '14 at 17:48
  • Thanks! your reasons are all plausible. The search continues... – John Smith Optional Jan 20 '14 at 17:54
  • Good luck. I've tried on and off for years. Since I got hooked on X-Files back in '93 and found out it was shot on film. If you find one, please let us know. You can often find a budget for a particular show, but a Db eludes me. – Meat Trademark Jan 20 '14 at 17:56
  • I'm hoping this question may be the catalyst to finally finding out, if someone has anything it seems it would be widely appreciated, and pretty valuable... – John Smith Optional Jan 20 '14 at 18:01

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