SR Pick: Place Your Bets – Vegas Movies By the Numbers

Ah Vegas! Home to Siegfried and Roy (the one munched on by a tiger), CSI, the World Series of Poker, legal prostitution, fabulous shows, the mob and lots and lots of gambling. After trying the family friendly route, over the last couple of years the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce has tried put back the reputation of Sin City back to more an adult atmosphere, focusing on the great shows but at the same time reminding adults that "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

That is a great pitch line but when every one of my friends come home from Vegas, they go to the priest, the lawyer or the doctor (obviously some things do NOT stay in Vegas.)

Las Vegas has also been the backdrop for many movies throughout the years; films of every genre have been shot there: Action, thriller, horror, comedy, drama. And when you start to think about it, it really makes sense. Hollywood studios are always taking big gambles with large sums of money in hopes that their movie investments pay offs will be huge (rimshot!). Alas, the payoff does not always come through for them, which brings me to the graph below brought us by Jack Satin at

It's an interesting look at every movie that has come out since Swingers that has been set in Vegas. It also shows their Rotten Tomato Fresh Rating, then compares the movie's budget to what the film brought in domestically and internationally. It's a fantastic work of art and I may print it out and hang it on my wall. Ultimately it just proves one thing - Swingers was the best bet ever for a Vegas film. "You're so money!"

Click on the picture for the full size version.

I'm actually surprised to see some films had such a stupidly large budget - $80 million for The Flintstones sequel, wonder who lost their job over that one? While others had a rather thin budget - $4 million for The Cooler, a much underrated film even though we see William H. Macy's um... one armed bandit. What this chart proves to me though is that no one at a major Hollywood studio knows how to gamble to win. They might as well stay home and scratch off a truck load of $2 Monopoly Lottery Instant Win cards. They'd have a better chance of recouping their cost instead of wasting $40 million on Very Bad Things (pun intended).

What do you think of the graph and what is your "name" while you are staying in Vegas? I go by Rumple Stinklejeans and I use a Romanian accent.

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