When I walked out from seeing Avatar 3D in December, I tweeted: “$300 million very well spent!”
Movie theaters can create extraordinary experiences, but the cost of production is ever greater.
On the other hand, movies can be made for extremely low cost, using HD cameras, digital editing, and volunteer labor.
At Media 2010 Suzanne Stefanac pointed to Escape to City 17, a machinima movie that had been made with a budget of less than $500, mainly for the costumes. It looks pretty good considering how little was spent.
Expect both increasing film budgets at the top end, and lowering film budgets at the bottom end.