Thor: Love and Thunder Proves Marvel's Budgets Are Getting Out of Control – CBR – Comic Book Resources

With Thor: Love and Thunder being $70 million more expensive than Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel Studios needs to reign in its out-of-control budgets.
Making a blockbuster film is an expensive business, and Marvel Studios and Disney are regularly the biggest and most expensive in the business. However, in recent years, the budgets for Marvel Cinematic Universe productions have been getting out of hand. And it might be time for the studio to rein it in.
The Avengers films are out of this conversation. Owing to the larger casts and bigger spectacles, these films naturally have much bigger budgets than individual Marvel films. However, the main focus of this argument is the massive increase in budget from Thor: Ragnarok in 2017 to Thor: Love and Thunder in 2022. Ragnarok was made on a $180 million budget, and despite being a film with roughly the same scope as Ragnarok, Love and Thunder's budget has jumped up to $250 million!
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There is no way to find out exactly why Thor: Love and Thunder is so expensive without any direct insider knowledge. The only way this can be approached at the moment is through speculation, as film studios generally keep their finances close to the chest. Even reported budgets aren't necessarily representative of how much was actually spent on a film. However, a jump of $70 million between films is extreme, even by Marvel standards.
The facts of the matter are simple, Love and Thunder is a shorter film than Ragnarok and, visually speaking, looks very similar to Ragnarok. To put it bluntly, it does not look $70 million more expensive than Ragnarok. While it's true that Love and Thunder pioneered several new techniques for lighting a scene, this has not translated to a film that is leap and bounds ahead of its predecessor. Instead, the needle has been nudged marginally. Thor: Love and Thunder is even $80 million more expensive than Top Gun: Maverick and that film literally had its cast flying about in actual jet planes.
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There's been a recent shift in the blockbuster landscape, with many studios showing that films don't need extortionate budgets to be wildly entertaining blockbusters. In 2022 alone, Uncharted, Sonic the Hedgehog and Bullet Train have budgets that range from $90-$110 million and yet look just as great as any Marvel Studios production. Additionally, foreign films have proven that the scope of a blockbuster is more than just the money behind it, RRR is a three-hour action epic and the most expensive film to come out of India, and it only cost $70 million.
Marvel Studios needs to understand that there is more to making an entertaining film than the sheer volume of money a studio pours into a production. Marvel's success was built on films that cost a fraction of the budgets its recent offerings have boasted, even the first Avengers film cost less than Love and Thunder. Outside the Avengers movies, there's little reason why the budgets for MCU films are inflating the way they are.
A graduate who has completed an English and Creative Writing degree – and a lover of all things nerdy. Has written for publications such as New Welsh Review, and Aberystwyth Student Media; having regularly covered film & TV for the latter. Also enjoys acting and performance in their spare time. They/He
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