The Batman may not be the least expensive movie Warner Bros. has ever produced, but its budget is reportedly lower than normal for the DC franchise created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger so many years ago – at least compared to what’s been spent on The Dark Knight’s various cinematic adventures over the last 15 years.
Deadline has put out a figure of $100 million or around there for the Matt Reeves reboot which, while still a staggering number of digits and possibly does not account for the film’s marketing costs, is a stark departure from the big-budget Snyderverse.
Man of Steel cost $225 million to make and that went up to $250 million for Batman v Superman and $300 million for Justice League, which isn’t counting the estimated $70 million it cost to finish The Snyder Cut.
These days, Warner appears to be in favor of allocating leaner budgets to its DC films. One exception is Wonder Woman 1984 and its price tag of $200 million, but the belt-tightening is evident in the costs for Shazam! ($100 million) and especially Joker ($40 million).
The cheaper, cost-efficient Joker which had next to no visual effects made serious bank grossing over $1 billion worldwide, a record for an R-rated movie.
The problem for Warner is that the studio had to share the profits with the Todd Phillips-directed film’s investors, which included the upstart company Bron entertainment.
Tim Burton’s first Batman movie cost even less than that, even without adjusting for inflation, at $35 million. However, even though Warner gave the future Frankenweenie director more money (roughly $80 million) and creative control over its sequel, Batman Returns, its elevated budget didn’t break the bank the way later films would.
Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan’s first outing, came at a price of $150 million, and the success of it and the follow-up, The Dark Knight, made Warner more comfortable with taking the risk on the last installment in Nolan’s trilogy. Further, The Dark Knight Rises remains the most expensive solo Batman adventure with a budget of $250 million.
Those were the days of over-the-top comic book action for The Dark Knight, but they look like they’re not behind us, as Warner is set to return to the gritty street-level realism of the character with Reeves and Robert Pattinson.
A chronicle of a hero starting out on the second year of his crime fighting career, The Batman’s March 2022 release date is right around the corner.
What do you make of The Batman’s reduced budget? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!