In short, it’s a lot cheaper to make a movie about Jurassic Park than to build and maintain a real one.
Fandango’s Movieclips channel assembled a team of researchers to estimate the financial costs of creating a dinosaur theme park, from the cost of the real estate required for the venture to the salaries of the staff necessary to get the park running and keep it running on a daily basis. Using real-world rates associated with everything from genetic cloning to mining for amber that will contain the mosquitoes holding dinosaur DNA, the analysis approximates the opening cost of Jurassic Park to be around $23 billion, with $12 million in recurring annual operation costs.
Given that the production budgets for all four films in the franchise so far add up to about $350-450 million and the films have collectively earned more than $2.4 billion so far, it seems like movies are the way to go when it comes to dinosaur theme parks.
Still, it’s interesting to see the real-world costs associated with some of the elements of the Jurassic Park universe that we take for granted amid all of the dinosaur-friendly spectacle and the inevitable running and screaming. For example, the cost of acquiring the two islands in Costa Rica necessary for both the park itself and the site where the dinosaurs are raised before being brought to the park would run about $10 billion at current real-estate estimates, making this portion of park development one of the most costly elements of the entire operation.
More than anything else, the video makes it pretty clear that Jurassic Park might be a nice place to visit (when the dinosaurs aren’t running around eating people, of course), but you wouldn’t want to actually invest in it.
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