To say heís a big fat ape has become true in more ways than one. King Kong, Peter Jacksonís remake of the 1930ís classic film needed a substantial increase in its budget due to special effects and has just reached Kong-ian proportions, totaling $207 million (so far), adding both weight and girth to the already oversized ape. All this despite having Jacksonís company doing the FX production work and getting substantial subsidies from New Zealand itself.
The filmís original price tag was $175 with a clause in the contract for Jackson to pay if he went over budget, which he did on both counts after the film went over by $32 million. But Universal Studios executives agreed to the increase after previewing parts of the film in New Zealand in what they foresee will be the biggest blockbuster of the Christmas season.
Universal executives threw in their support, with chairperson Stacey Snider herself said she didnít anticipate it would be very long, expecting about 2 hours and 40 minutes, but was sold on it after seeing the preliminary results, stating that the film "is a masterpiece. I can't wait to unveil it."
While moviegoers are expected to squirm in their seats, itís not because of the filmís story or visuals, but their bodies complaining over the length of an unchanged sitting position in the theaters. The film industry itself is usually leery of overly long films because it would mean fewer screenings (read: fewer $$$) per day of showing. But some of the largest blockbusters-- most notably Jacksonís own Lord of the Rings trilogy and the biggest of all, Titanic-- clocked in at more than 3 hours and raked in the most bucks.
But nobody doubts Jackson being the newly-minted big gorilla in the space, having won not only acclaim and some of the highest grossing recent films, but also multiple Oscars under his belt.