To be fair, I have argued a lot very recently about Hollywood being more reasonable when it comes to franchise film budgets. We can’t have movies like “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” costing $300 million become the new norm. But that’s an extreme example. It all needs to work relatively as well. Universal, for example, way overestimated the audience for “Renfield” earlier this year, giving the Dracula-centric horror film a far too high $65 million budget. That didn’t pan out by any means.
That having been said, “The Purge” films have been unbelievably profitable for the studio up to this point. To date, the five entries have grossed $535 million worldwide against combined budgets of just $53 million. That is more than 10 times in regard to the rate of return (not accounting for marketing). Even 2021’s “The Forever Purge,” which was released when the pandemic was a much bigger hurdle to clear, managed to make $77 million against an $18 million budget. Not to mention what it made on VOD, or what Universal was able to make by selling people like me a new Blu-ray box set with all five movies in it.
All of this to say, there is absolutely money to be made here. I have no idea what, precisely, DeMonaco is asking for with the budget. But even if it’s $25 million — a full $7 million more than the previous entry — it’s extremely difficult to imagine the movie losing money, given how well these movies have done with such consistency. The upside, it would seem, is far greater for Universal so long as this isn’t a larger-scale $60 million movie or something along those lines. If it is, I would encourage both sides to come to the table and find a compromise.