Musical’s Budget Blues

Disney’s Jeffrey Katzenberg apparently is taking his cost-cutting memo to heart. Buzz told you last week that “Evita” was headed for turnaround because of its budget. Robert Stigwood, who owns the rights, started out with a budget of $31 million, with Glen Gordon Caron as writer/director. Disney choked on that figure, and Stigwood has pared it down to $27.5 million – even agreeing to forgo upfront salary. Sources said Disney won’t go beyond $25 million. Wags are shaking their heads, since Universal and Paramount are interested if it gets discarded, and since Disney spent $45 million on “Billy Bathgate.” Said a rival exec: “The two sides are standing apart over $2.5 million. It’s ridiculous.” That’s about the same sum that prompted Warner Bros. to dump “Home Alone.”

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