In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Shinji Higuchi, the director picked by Toho to revive its dormant “Godzilla” franchise, promised that his version of the iconic monster would be larger and more terrifying than its predecessors. However, the most hair-raising comment in the article was one attributed to film critic Yuichi Maeda, who was quoted as saying, “Hollywood movies can count on million-dollar budgets, but even the most expensive Japanese films get only about a third of a million dollars.”
Ahem, Japanese filmmakers are cranking out blockbusters for the same amount that Hillary Clinton gets for a single speech?
While you don’t need to be an industry insider to spot the obvious blooper, it’s no secret that Japanese movies have to fight at a significant financial disadvantage. “Jurassic World” and “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” which opened here last weekend, both had budgets of $150 million to play with. By contrast, the director of a high-profile Japanese production can expect to get around ¥2 billion (approximately $16 million). And it hurts. When Higuchi’s live-action adaptation of “Attack on Titan” hit screens earlier this month, drawing widespread criticism online, cult filmmaker Yoshihiro Nishimura — who worked on the movie’s special effects — lashed out at viewers who insisted on comparing everything to Hollywood.
“OK, go ahead and watch nothing but Hollywood films then!” he wrote on Twitter. “You should watch films that have been smashed in the face with cash! That’s what people who are always comparing Hollywood and Japan like, isn’t it?” Touche.
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