Cost of Hollywood movie exceeded $100 million

Producing Hollywood movie became 15 percent more expensive in 2003 and reached the sum of $102.9 million.

The average cost to produce and promote a film in 2003 rose above $100 million for the first time ever with the average cost up 8.6 percent to $63.8 million and advertising and other expenses up a whopping 28 percent to about $39 million, according to the Motion Picture Association of America which released the figures at the annual ShoWest convention here.

Studios spent an average of $63.8 million on production budgets for their 198 releases in 2003, an 8.6 percent rise, said Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, Hollywood's top trade group.

Average marketing budgets for those movies jumped to $39 million, up 28 percent, Valenti said at ShoWest, an annual convention of theater owners.

"Budget discretion has to be a fervid priority at every studio," Valenti told theater owners in a speech to open the convention.

Production and marketing budgets have fluctuated greatly in the last few years as studios tried to balance surging costs for top-name talent with shareholder pressure to hold down expenses. Average costs shot up 14 percent in 2002 but had dropped two out of the three previous years.

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