In engineer speak, power equals the amount of work done over the time taken to do it. The same equation can be applied to Hollywood budgets but substitute power for money.
With the work level on tentpole productions staying the same or increasing, and the time allotted to each being shrunk to fit a pre-determined calendar, it's inevitable that costs are going to blow out.
This Summer two of the big superhero films are in an intense race to the finish line, Fox's "X-Men: First Class" and Warner's "Green Lantern", with both likely to cut it very close. Of the two though it's 'Lantern', with its extensive use of visual effects, that faces the more uphill battle.
The crunch has gotten so tight that today comes word, via Variety, that Warners has had to add on an additional $9 million to the film's budget. The reasoning is simple - the studio has to hire additional visual effects houses to help get the movie finished in time for its June 17th release date.
Warner's exec VP of digital production Chris de Faria says "There is no problem on ‘Green Lantern'. We try to add things to make the movie better until the 11th hour. That doesn't mean we're risking the movie up to the 11th hour."
Reactions at test screenings have reportedly lead to some scenes being put back into the movie, including a pre-credit CG sequence, while the new money will likely cover some of the 3D conversion which apparently wasn't included in the original budget.
The article also asks the very pertinent question - when will the incessant need to meet tighter and tighter deadlines come to an end? A Marvel exec says it'll take a colossal delay or failure for thinking to be significantly changed - "I think the day (the system) breaks is the day everyone will revise their thinking. Until that day comes, filmmakers are going to push it to the limit. I think it's sad that we will have to watch one of us fail to learn our lesson."
Meanwhile, Hitfix has posted a list of all the alien lanterns from the comics that will appear in the film in the background alongside the five main ones - Hal Jordan, Thaal Sinestro, Abin Sur, Tomar-Re and Kilowog. These will include: Boodikka, Bzzd, Hannu, Larvox, Green Man, Medphyll, Morro, R'amey Holl, Rot Lop Fan, Salaak, Stel and Voz.
Also, Bleeding Cool has posted two new character posters from the film which can be viewed below. Click for larger versions.