NPR logo Report: James Cameron Will Make $350 Million From Avatar

Report: James Cameron Will Make $350 Million From Avatar

James Cameron is likely to set a record for the most money ever made by a director for a single film, Hollywood uberblogger Nikke Finke reports today.

Avatar, which Cameron also wrote and produced, is a cash monster. It has grossed more than $2.7 billion at the box office. Sales of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs were over $130 million in their first four days on the market.

Cameron's take will be somewhere around $350 million, Finke says.

As we reported earlier this year, Hollywood economics are notoriously difficult to figure out.

Studios set up the accounting so that most movies don't show a profit, even if they do well at the box office.

Big stars sometimes get around this by getting some percentage of a movie's gross — the total amount of money it brings in, regardless of costs.

In this case, Finke says, Cameron may have cut a sort of hybrid deal based on gross "at cash break." As one entertainment-industry lawyer explained in this Forbes Q&A, that type of deal takes into account a movie's production costs, but not other costs, such as distribution.

Avatar cost $237 million to produce, and another $150 million to promote, according to The Wrap.

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