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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 15:35 GMT
Hollywood film budgets top $100m
Keanu Reeves in Matrix Revolutions
The Matrix Reloaded was reported to have had a $127m budget
The average cost of a Hollywood film has broken the $100m (55m) barrier, the outgoing Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) president has said.

Jack Valenti said the average cost of releasing a movie reached $102.8m in 2003 - up 15% on the previous year.

That included $63.8m (35m) to make the film and $39m (21m) to market it.

The increase came in a year when US box office takings fell slightly to $9.5bn (5.2bn) - but 2003 still had the second-highest total in history.

Mr Valenti said the climbing film budgets were like "the cost tapeworm wiggling so energetically in film production, nibbling, chewing, eating the fiscal molecules of the business".

Jack Valenti
Jack Valenti said producers needed to keep control of budgets
He urged film producers to keep budgets tight, and said keeping costs down was "a fervid priority".

The average outlay of $63.8m to film a movie was up 8.6% compared with 2002, Mr Valenti said.

And the costs of marketing and distributing a film rose by 27% - which was put down to a rise in the cost of television advertising.

The major Hollywood studios were facing a profits squeeze, despite rising revenue from DVD and video sales, Mr Valenti added.

But in Mr Valenti's view, the industry had had "a good year".

'Mixed emotions'

The average cost of a movie ticket rose again in 2003 to $6.03 (3.35).

Mr Valenti, 82, speaking at an industry conference in Las Vegas, also confirmed that he would retire from the association after 38 years as president.

He said he believed the MPAA may find a new president in the next two or three months.

"I look at this with mixed emotions because when you've done something so long, it's difficult to tear yourself away from it," Mr Valenti said.

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23 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
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