Inspired by a question from a Quora user, BGR writer Jason Siegal set out on a dangerous mission to answer an overwhelming question: “How much money has been spent attempting to bring Matt Damon back from distant places?”
Of course, when you see The Martian , a film that has Damon rescued from years of isolation — from many “sols” of “sciencing the shit” out of Mars in order to stay alive — it’s hard not to think of Interstellar , a film that shows Damon stranded on a planet icier than Hoth in a galaxy far, far away. And if you think of Interstellar, it’s difficult to ignore Elysium. From Elysium, you get Green Zone. And so on…
Well, another Quora user answered the question first, and the results are staggering. It turns out that Hollywood has spent enough money rescuing Damon to pay for nine manned missions to Mars. It all looks something like this:
Movie Budgets Courage Under Fire: $46m Saving Private Ryan: $70m Titan A.E.: $75m Syriana: $50m Green Zone: $100m Elysium: $115m Interstellar: $165m The Martian: $108m TOTAL: $729m
Fictional Costs [My estimates, costs are in 2015 currency] Courage Under Fire (Gulf War 1 helicopter rescue): $300k Saving Private Ryan (WW2 Europe search party): $100k Titan A.E. (Earth evacuation spaceship): $200B Syriana (Middle East private security return flight): $50k Green Zone (US Army transport from Middle East): $50k Elysium (Space station security deployment and damages): $100m Interstellar (Interstellar spaceship): $500B The Martian (Mars mission): $200B TOTAL: $900B plus change
So the many missions to save Damon have put Hollywood back nearly a trillion dollars. (It’s up to someone else to figure out how much these films have grossed.) With that kind of money you could knock out the U.S. 2014 trade deficit twice.
You start to wonder if Damon is aware of his Damon-in-Distress status. It’s as if he’s beholden to some unspoken yet fairly reliable form of typecasting. How much will be spent on the next mission to Save Private Damon?