Any film can be made for any amount of money. There is the $10 million version, the $5 million version and the $500 000 version.

Each version will appeal to a different audience. The question is, which version offers the producer the best balance of risk between the size of the budget and the likely commercial return? A $25 million art movie like The Sheltering Sky clearly got the equation wrong by pitching its commercial sights too high. On the other hand, the success of big-budget Hollywood remakes of European originals demonstrates that even successful European films, like Trois Hommes et un Couffin, may be missing out on international opportunities by pitching their commercial sights too low.

The mismatch between budgets and ...

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