DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know Rian Johnson's film Knives Out is an original film that has a big studio budget. IMDb estimates the film cost around $40 million. In fact, it is unusual for a director to make an original film with a studio budget of more than $30 million. For your information, an average studio film gets around $65 million. They are based on existing intellectual property (IP) such as comic books, rebooted film franchise or best-selling novel. But, major releases that are not based on existing IP tend to be low budget independent films. They are usually made for less than $1 million and picked up for distribution by companies like A24 or Neon. Unfortunately, there aren't many studio films made from original concepts. Why? Because those films do not perform well. Luckily, Johnson's debut feature film Brick which cost $450,000 made $4 million. Then he directed larger independent film "The Brother Bloom", which flopped. And the massive hit "Looper" that earned $175 million, returning its budget of $30 million more than five times over. He also landed a TV directing gig for two Breaking Bad episodes. With his strong record, he was picked to helm Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 2014.
Nowadays, you have to do work in massive IP before you get a chance to direct a big-budget original film. Besides, having numerous small scale successes before getting a shot at blockbuster IP. This means that a director who wants to build a career making original content has to make at least one or two IP blockbuster. So we should look forward to Knives Out. We should celebrate that an original film got a decent budget. But, we should also appreciate how Johnson worked throughout his career. More importantly, let's hope that there would be more original content with a bankroll to get produced.