Recent reports indicate Fast X’s budget is more than $140 million bigger than the reported budget for F9, but there are a few easy ways to explain the cost increases for the tenth movie in the Fast & Furious franchise. It’s not uncommon for franchises to see budgets get bigger with each installment, and while Fast X’s reported $340 million budget may seem like an out-of-control increase, it’s not actually as crazy as it sounds. The Fast & Furious franchise is famous for the way it grew from low-budget street-racing movies to massive globetrotting ensemble action blockbusters, escalating from the modest $38 million The Fast and the Furious in 2001 to over $250 million for Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious. While F9 only had a reported budget of $200 million, it was likely more in line with the budgets of the previous two movies. Still, $340 million is a big increase from even $250 million, so how did it happen?
Fast X Was Already Expensive Because of its New and Returning Ensemble Cast
Fast X was always going to be more expensive because of its ensemble cast. As the tenth film in the franchise, the Fast & Furious “family” is bigger than ever and most of the main cast, particularly stars like Vin Diesel, will be due a bigger payday, and it’s been previously reported this cause the budget to increase to nearly $300 million. After John Cena joined in F9 and now Jason Momoa, Brie Larson, and Alan Ritchson are joining for Fast X, it shouldn’t be a huge shock that it’s the most expensive movie in the franchise yet.
COVID and Inflation Explain Fast X’s Unexpected Budget Growth
While the cast doesn’t answer for all the increases in the Fast X budget, the rest is fairly easily explainable. COVID-19 shutdowns and new safety procedures result in increased costs for all movies, and a sharp rise in inflation is also a major factor. Fast X’s already reported $300 million budget in 2021 dollars jumps to almost exactly $340 million in 2022 dollars after adjusting for inflation. In fact, adjusted to 2017 dollars, Fast X’s budget would be $277 million, which is barely more than The Fate of the Furious’ reported $250-270 budget range. $340 million is huge in contrast to historical norms, but blockbuster budgets have always grown with time. James Cameron’s $200 million budget for Titanic was astonishing in 1998 (adjusted to 1998 dollars, Fast X would only cost $192 million), but it became the norm in the 2010s. Likewise, movies like Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame cost more than $300 million in 2018 and 2019, so while Fast X’s $340 million may raise some eyebrows, it’s not as big of a jump as you think, and it won’t so uncommon to see budgets that big in the years to come.