Just by chance, I recently ended up seeing Antichrist on Netflix. Didn't know anything about the movie except that there was some kind of controversy about it, and that I remembered thinking that the trailer looked cool. And...WOW. There were some problems with it, but overall I thought it was quite compelling (and that prologue was simply AWESOME).
So, thinking that I should probably check out some of this guy's other stuff, I watched Melancholia. A little bit slow in spots, but it was a great character drama with some haunting imagery. So even though I've only seen two of this guy's movies, I'm really liking what I'm seeing so far.
My question to those of you familiar with him is, how does this guy manage to afford to make movies?
I mean, Antichrist probably didn't require a huge budget. There were only two characters (aside from the kid), and much of the film was set in the woods/apartment/cabin and consistent of just talking (and fucking). That has to cut down on costs quite a bit. But still, this movie didn't look cheap. There were some fairly elaborate looking shots in the movie, and when I see that it had a worldwide box office of less than a million dollars (as well as content that would get it banned from most cinemas and store shelves), I'm wondering how they could possibly turn a profit on this.
Same with Melancholia. It did a bit better ($15 million worldwide). Probably due to achieving an R rating and actually having a fairly sized cast consisting of well known actors (such as John Hurt, Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, etc). But then again, that cast has to inflate the budget. And this movie also didn't look cheap.
Now I see that he's got a new movie out (Nymphomaniac) which I see has both hard NC-17 content AND an extensive cast of A and B list actors, and I'm just like, HOW? How the hell is guy actually affording to make these movies? Because even though these are only three movies out of his entire career, their box office grosses seem to be predictably crappy. And he either seems to be inculuding content that'll guarantee a low box office numbers, or hiring talent who ought to be way more expensive than what the movies are bringing in. And granted, I've only looked at Box office totals, but can DVD sales really be THAT lucrative? If so, then why the NC-17 stigma?