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J.J. Abrams thinks movies cost too much

J.J. Abrams

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J.J. Abrams has proven time and again that it’s possible to make a successful blockbuster without breaking the bank. He just wishes that other directors and studios would jump on the bandwagon.

“It is preposterous and embarrassing that movies cost what they do,” he said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.

We’ve been saying the same thing for years, but it’s very refreshing to hear the words come out of the mouth of one of Hollywood’s biggest directors. Abrams seems to try to practice what he preaches, reportedly being one of Paramount Pictures’ most frugal directors even though the budget on “Star Trek 2” ended up going up to $185 million. But he hasn’t blown $250 million on films like “The Dark Knight Rises” and “John Carter” did, and his movies almost always turn a profit.

Abrams has also proven that he’s just as capable with movies that don’t cost much as he is with films that do. “Cloverfield” and “Super 8” are two of his biggest success stories, and they cost $25 million and $50 million respectively. Abrams is still guilty of a bloated budget or three, but at least he’s always conscious of trying to keep the money down.

“Certainly on ‘Star Trek’ and the sequel and on ‘Mission: Impossible’ three and four, we had massive budget issues always,” he said. “Yet we always get it figured out before production starts and realize that the money you don’t get forces you to rethink something and challenges you to figure it out in a new way.”

This past year has proven more than any other that flashy expensive movies don’t always mean that success is guaranteed. But studios have been throwing more and more money into films in a go-big-or-go-home strategy, and it doesn’t always work out well in the long run. Abrams said he believes that the focus should be on trying to make quality films on reasonable budgets instead of having everything cost as much as “Avatar.”

“I am as interested in and obsessed with what can be done in the feature world for a price as anyone at any studio,” said Abrams. “I feel like it is incumbent upon filmmakers today to treat it like their own money.”

Do you agree with Abrams’ outlook? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

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Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

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Lane 27: Broken Windows

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Lane 69: Filthy Cars

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Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

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Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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