Brace yourself, Hollywood. The Smoking Gun has your famously obtuse accounting practices in the crosshairs.
Last week, the site disclosed what it purported to be the budgets for all four of the films M. Night Shyamalan has made for Walt Disney.
The pages are chock-a-block with info on how much it cost to make “The Village,” “Signs,” “Unbreakable” and “The Sixth Sense” — everything from fees paid to Shyamalan and stars Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Adrien Brody and Joaquin Phoenix to the $8,625 it cost for wardrobe fittings on “The Village.”
For that film, which had a $71.7 million budget, Shyamalan received a $10.7 million fee for his writing, directing and producing duties.
On “Signs,” Gibson saw a giant $25 million payday (roughly 35% of the $70.7 million total budget; the rest of the cast combined cost $2.6 million).
If the budget lines are eye-popping it’s only because they’re usually not divulged. But editor Bill Bastone says the site plans to publish more of the film biz’s internal financial documents, in a section dubbed “Hollywood by the Numbers.”
“We’re on the hunt,” Bastone says. “We have some other stuff and we’ll probably get some more.”
Asked if he could say how he pried the prized info, he said, “No can do,” but added it was obtained “totally legitimately and legally.”
Disney and Shyamalan may disagree with that assessment, but neither chose to comment on the postings.