How Much Did “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Actually Cost to Make?

Last updated Oct 29, 2019 | By Laura Bostwick

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It comes as no surprise that the latest production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens had an impressive budget to work with to make the movie as epic as possible, but how much did it really cost to produce?  

Before filming began, it was estimated that the total budget would fall somewhere between $175M and $200M, but the actual figures are much more impressive, coming in around $445M!

Here's where the money went:

Production - $200M

Along with recording equipment, directors, composers, and the crew, production costs also covered the actors salaries (more on that in a bit), costumes, props, film licenses, sets, personal trainers, nutritionists, accommodations, pre-production casting, post-production editing, mixing, and more.

So, when you think about all of that, $200M seems like a drop in the bucket, right?

Let's break it down further:

  • Sets = $26,000,000
  • Costumes = $21,000,000
  • Film licenses = $17,000,000
  • Equipment, film, catering, etc. = $25,000,000
  • Directors, composers, consultants = $48,000,000
  • Insurance, miscellaneous = $23,000,000

Actors Salaries - $40M

Actor salaries were included in the overall production budget, so while we don’t know the exact details of how much each actor made, here’s what we do know:

  • Harrison Ford made between $10M - $20M to reprise his role as Han Solo
  • Both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reportedly made a handsome “low seven-figure” salary
  • Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac both received offers in the “mid- to high-six figures”

  • And the newcomers to the Star Wars franchise, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley each made between $100,000-$300,000

Marketing - $223M

One might argue that any episode of Star Wars could market itself simply by existing, but that didn’t stop the money from flowing into marketing efforts for the film. 

In fact, it cost more to market the film than to make the film itself.

It makes sense though, because Star Wars was literally everywhere

 In every store you walked into, every grocery aisle you shopped in (Darth Vader Foie Gras, anyone?), every gas station you stopped at; there was Star Wars. Heck, even Pottery Barn wanted in on the party.

In full disclosure, I totally bought a pack of Star Wars pens during a late-night Target run.

Teasers & Trailers - $22.3M

Every epic movie usually releases one or two incredible trailers and/or teasers, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens was no exception. Spending $22.3M on two teasers and one official trailer garnered millions of views and instant excitement for the film’s release.

But let's be honest; people were already insanely excited.  Exhibit A: 

What was your guess?  Let us know in the comments below.

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