How HBO spent more than $200 million on "Pacific"

Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:37am EDT
 
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By Alex Ben Block

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - On a muggy morning in September 1944, Pfc. Eugene Sledge and the 1st Marine Division landed on a beach at Peleliu, a Pacific island between New Guinea and the Philippines, where they were attacked by 11,000 Japanese soldiers.

That moment would later be called the bloodiest battle of World War II in the Pacific. Eleven hundred Americans lost their lives and 900 were wounded before the island was taken.

Sixty-three years later, HBO set out to re-create it.

But doing so meant spending the kind of giant dollars usually reserved for Jerry Bruckheimer blockbusters.

It cost about $217 million to make "The Pacific," the most expensive miniseries ever, with another $10 million for a multiplatform marketing campaign -- offset by about $20 million in rebates from Australia, where much of the shooting took place.

So where did the money go?

The scene where Sledge (Joseph Mazzello) lands on Peleliu alone cost about $5 million, says co-executive producer Tony To. It involved 300 actors working over four days on a beach at Rocky Point in Australia's rugged Queensland.

And even this was relatively economical.   Continued...