dougied89 wrote:I think if the films are like The Thin Red Line (which is his most successful film),
Actually, "The Thin Red Line" lost money on its theatrical release. Not a lot, but at least $18 million by my estimation.
It had a production budget of $52 million, and a P&A (press and advertisement) budget of at least $20 million. (An extremely conservative guess) Meanwhile, it made $98 million. The theaters take a certain cut (20% on opening weekend, 50% for several weeks after that, and 80% after that), which we can estimate at 45% overall.
Of $98 million, the remaining 55% that goes to the producers is $53.9 million.
(Theatrical Revenue)- (Production Budget + Press and Advertisement) = -$18.1 million
Again, "The Thin Red Line" might have ultimately broke even or even made money through ancillary rights (DVDs, showings on HBO and other networks, etc.), but it lost money in theaters.
And keep in mind that was back in 1998, way before the era of CGI, sequels, remakes, and superhero and comic book adaptations. I think such a film would fare far worse nowadays.
All of this is to say that I continue to be baffled as to why so many studio executives were willing to give Malick tens of millions to make new movies when it appears very unlikely his pictures can be profitable nowadays.