Whether you loved it or loved-it-after-mistakenly-hating it, there’s no denying that The Wachowski‘s Jupiter Ascending lost a lot of money. With a reported budget range of $176–210 million, the bombastic space fantasy where Mila Kunis played a maid destined for the galactic throne decidedly flopped. As it turns out, that wasn’t a surprise to Kunis.
“When did we know [Jupiter Ascending would flop]? Before we started production, because our production got slashed in half,” Kunis said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast. “And so the original budget was twice as much, and you can do a lot more with a lot more money, and often times those types of scripts have a very good storyline but extraordinary other things. Right before pre-production, for a multitude of reasons with studios and other things, the budget got cut, and the movie was different.”
It’s not clear whether she means that the budget dropped from $210 million to $176 million, or whether the reported budget is drastically far off from the meager 9 figures Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures cobbled together, but what’s clear is that when a budget gets hacked just before production, there’s a good chance the studio is either seeing writing on the wall or self-fulfilling a prophecy. Fortunately, even with the cost-deflated and the box office sagging, Jupiter Ascending remains a gorgeous triumph of high art weirdness. In an alternate universe, we’re getting Jupiter Ascending: The Way Of Water, and there are theme parks where Channing Tatum’s rollerblading space werewolf is the biggest attraction. Oh, to live in a world where Warner Bros. didn’t sandbag it all from the beginning.
(via Happy Sad Confused)