All right, I am on my way to proof a point regarding the cyberpunk genre, respectively the discourse which in my view it has become. And Foucault really has me now, as I am creating lists, tables, and stuff for that. In respect to motion pictures variables of interest are budget (correllating with the faith the producing industry had in the project) and gross revenue (correllating with the audience’s interest in the project). At the moment I am concerned with the budget.
The idea is to make a comparison through time.
Now, the earliest motion picture I can make out, which fits into the cyberpunk discourse, is ↑Fritz Lang‘s ‘↑Metropolis‘ (1927), produced on a budget of Reichsmark (RM) 5.4 million—but today we have no idea of what that means. For comparison the sum has to be converted into today’s value. In a German wisecrack forum ;-) back in 2005 other people already sank their teeth ↑into the same problem. Their results range from US$ 13.5 million to US$ 205 million. Then there is an ↑article stating that the budget of ‘Metropolis,’ which nearly quadrupled during production, would equal the budget of ‘Pearl Harbor’ (Bay 2001) in today’s currency: US$ 140 million. So, as usual, I did my own calculations instead of asking someone competent.
↑In 1926/27 RM 5.3 million equalled US$ 1.26 million. The latter ↑in turn equals US$ 15.7 million in 2011. On the other hand the mean ↑equivalent to RM 1,- (1924-1936) is € 3.97 in 2010. This results in a budget of ‘Metropolis’ of US$ 28.9 million in 2011—nearly twice than in my first calculation. So the range of my results is significant as well, but the overall sum does not skyrocket.
Anyone competent in the house?
BAY, MICHAEL. 2001. Pearl Harbor [motion picture]. Burbank: Touchstone Pictures.
LANG, FRITZ. 1927. Metropolis [motion picture]. Berlin: Ufa.