When searching for the budgets of the Star Wars movies, I found sources which claim a budget of about $300 million for The Force Awakens (TFA), the episode 1-3 movies had each a budget of about $115 million. This includes not the merchandising and advertisement cost, only the movie production cost.
Now I wonder, why was The Force Awakens so much more expensive than the Episode 1-3 movies?
- Force Awakens used less CGI than Ep1-3, so there should be less cost in that case.
- It introduced some new main actors, which all had a payment of less than $1 million, Carrie Fisher and Luke Hamill low seven figures and only Harrison Ford between 10-20 million, according to this source, so there should be no big difference in overall actors payments between 7 and Ep3.
- Merchandising and advertising is not included in this budget, so they also do not count.
- Ep3 was 10 years before TFA, so inflation or new cost intensive production techniques should be not a big issue here
- Running time is 139 min (EP3) to 136 min (TFA), so also no issue...
- Episode 3 was directed by George himself, I doubt that J.J. earned a lot more for his job at TFA
- I am not sure about the extra cost because of 3-D, but i would not think that this makes such a big difference
So why is the production cost for the latest star wars movie not only higher than for the episode 1-3 movies, but even nearly 3 times more?