Mr Light wrote:
Meanwhile, the budget of each Star Wars Prequel was about $115 million, which is nothing but CGI. But I guess that's cause Lucas owns ILM and gets the inside ticket
I was just watching some of the docus for both the OT and the PT, and was amazed at how LOW the budgets were, esp. considering how effects-heavy (and even location-heavy) some of them are.
I think it's a matter of wanting to exert cost-control. Lucas borrowed money to make at least some of his films, so controlling costs was very important. It's about a sense of ownership. Everything's under one roof (or extended corporate "family" at least) too, so there's cost-saving there too.
But with a studio, they're just going to look at the bottom line, after all costs are deducted. As long as enough of the superbig budget films make a net profit, they'll keep greenlighting them even if they could potentially make a bigger profit by being tighter with the budgets.