The Big Picture
- Paramount received a £57 million cash injection from their insurer due to pandemic-related production delays on Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.
- Despite the film being shot at glamorous locations, the majority of production took place at less glamorous studios in Hertfordshire and Surrey.
- Paramount filed a lawsuit against Chubb’s parent company, Federal Insurance, after only receiving £4.4 million from their insurance policy, arguing that the cast and crew could still fulfill their duties despite being infected with COVID-19.
Hollywood movie studio Paramount has revealed that it received £57 million (approximately $71 million) from Swiss insurer Chubb due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying production of Tom Cruise’s spy spectacular Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. The movie, the seventh installment in the action series, hit theaters in July and features Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Ving Rhames and Simon Pegg. After a difficult box office run, where the film was unfairly pushed aside due to the “Barbenheimer” factor, this cash injection should deservedly push the film towards profitability.
It was filmed at exotic locales like Abu Dhabi, Rome, and Venice, but the majority of the production took place in the less glamorous settings of Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire and Longcross Studios in Surrey.
Paramount encountered substantial delays during production as a result of the worldwide health restrictions, and sought compensation through its insurance with Chubb. However, Chubb only paid out £4.4 million ($5.5 million), despite the policy potentially covering up to £80 million ($100 million) for losses due to production interruptions. Consequently, Paramount filed a lawsuit against Chubb’s parent company, the Federal Insurance Company, in 2021.
The insurer argued that “there was no evidence that cast and crew members could not continue their duties, despite being infected with SARS-CoV-2.” The lawsuit was settled in July 2022, with the terms of the settlement remaining confidential until now. Typically, film finances are closely guarded secrets, with studios bundling the costs of individual movies into their overall expenses without itemising specific figures. An exception exists for movies shot in the UK, which benefit from the government’s film tax relief scheme. This scheme offers a cash reimbursement of up to 25 percent of the money spent in the UK, provided it accounts for at least 10 percent of the film’s total costs.
Finding Out a Film’s True Budget
To demonstrate compliance with this scheme, movie studios establish separate companies for each film, filing accounts that detail aspects such as staff numbers, salaries, costs, and the amount of taxpayer money received. These companies often use code-names to avoid drawing attention when applying for location filming permits.
For example, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One along with its predecessor, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and upcoming sequel, were produced by Jupiter Spring Productions, one of Paramount’s UK subsidiaries. Recently filed accounts reveal that Jupiter Spring received $58 million of insurance income in the year ending December 31, 2022, bringing its total payout to $71 million. Since its incorporation in 2016, the company has received $140 million in taxpayers’ money, which has helped offset the blockbuster costs of producing the three Mission: Impossible movies.
The accounts also disclose that a staggering $905 million has been spent on making these three movies so far, with expenses peaking at $221 million in the previous year when production of Dead Reckoning Part One was in full swing. The total costs are expected to rise further as filming of Part One and its sequel continued well past the end of 2022. The production of Dead Reckoning Part Two has been postponed by the ongoing strikes held by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA.
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