India Spent Less Going To Mars Than Hollywood Did Making ‘Gravity’

Almost every day we talk about film budgets and grosses, trading hundred million dollar figures like baseball cards, only occasionally acknowledging that baked into all those costs are infamously shady accounting processes. Just how wasteful is the movie business? The prime minister of India recently pointed out that it will cost his country less to shoot an actual rocket to Mars than it cost Hollywood to film a movie about orbiting the Earth. That’s the real reason we never faked the moon landing, it’d cost too much.

Last year, India launched its bid to become the first Asian nation to reach Mars. India’s Mars rocket, Mangalyaan, is expected to reach the red planet on Sept. 24. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) budgeted the mission at $78 million, coming in well under the reported $100 million budget for Warner’s Gravity. In addition, ISRO’s budget is less than a sixth of the $484 million  budget earmarked by NASA for a Mars probe launched shortly afterward.

You think that’s bad, I’m told one Michael Bay car chase wastes enough fresh fruit to feed the entire province of Rajasthan for a month.

“I have heard about the film Gravity. I am told the cost of sending an Indian rocket to space is less than the money invested in making the Hollywood movie,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

Yeah, but did your rocket have Sandra Bullock in it? I thought not.

Given ISRO’s low-cost advantage, Modi added that India could “be the launch service provider of the world and must work toward this goal” in the global $2.3 billion satellite-launch industry. [HollywoodReporter]

Ahh, so this is basically an outsourcing bid, now I see where they were going with this. I can picture it now, some poor Sandy Bullock making it all the way to an Indian space station thanks to a pep talk from her dead friend, only to make it inside, try to read the instructions, and then kick herself for never learning Hindi. So basically me every time I call tech support.