Mad Max: Fury Road Cost $20,833 Per Second

And they didn't even paint the cars

Mad money altogether. — (Photo by Jasin Boland - © 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
Feb 17, 2016 at 12:15 PM ET

Picture this: For every single second you sat in a movie theater watching Mad Max: Fury Road, the studio spent $20,000 producing it. Physically burning that amount of money so quickly is almost definitely impossible, but Hollywood, my friend, is where dreams are made.

Everyone knows Hollywood blockbusters are expensive, but the cost of putting Academy Award nominees for Best Picture, such as Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant, on the silver screen becomes excruciating when you break it down by the second. The money just evaporates.

Mad Max, the post-apocalyptic chase movie starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, was this year’s most expensive Best Picture nod, costing an estimated $150 million, according to IMDb. With a runtime of 120 minutes, that works out to a spend of exactly $20,833 per second—that’s a lot of rusty hot-rods, staged explosions, and flamethrower fuel. For the cost of 50 seconds of Mad Max footage, you could buy a decent one-bed apartment in Manhattan.

The Revenant, which was shot without green screens and using natural lighting, still cost the studio $135 million, or $14,423 for every single second you watched Leonardo DiCaprio grind his way towards revenge (and hopefully that Best Actor statuette). For what it’s worth, we think this is Leo’s year.

At the other end of the “holy crap, they spent how much every second?!” spectrum, there’s Room, a book adaptation about a mother and son who are held captive in a garden shed, and make a desperate attempt to escape. Compared to Mad Max, Room seems relatively affordable, costing its studio $847 per second. Practically a steal.