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300: Model Paradigm for Future Success

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 10, 2007 at 2:19AM

As I suggested a few weeks ago, the global blockbuster 300 will have a huge impact on the movie business, because for better or for worse, both aesthetically and economically, it provides a useful new paradigm for how to succeed at the movies. That's why it will be widely imitated: it was made for $64 million, shot (on film, btw) on Montreal soundstages, with actors with no cut of the back-end gross. (Here's Businessweek's take.)
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As I suggested a few weeks ago, the global blockbuster 300 will have a huge impact on the movie business, because for better or for worse, both aesthetically and economically, it provides a useful new paradigm for how to succeed at the movies. That's why it will be widely imitated: it was made for $64 million, shot (on film, btw) on Montreal soundstages, with actors with no cut of the back-end gross. (Here's Businessweek's take.)

I was sad to see the last episode of HBO's Rome, not only because I was parting with my beloved Mark Antony, Lucius Verenus and Titus Pullo, but because it could be the last movie made with big expensive sets on the Cinecitta backlot. Those sets have been torn down, because Rome was too expensive to be renewed. HBO could have shot Rome the way that 300 was made, on sets with green screen, and in future, that will be the way to go. Gangs of New York is another example of a movie that will not be made with that kind of love and labor in the future. Even Martin Scorsese understood that VFX master Rob Legato had to help him get that rat into the frame in just the right way in the last shot of The Departed. At least it was a real rat.

Originally posted on Variety.com

This article is related to: Genres, Box Office, Action


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.