Michael Cieply‘s financial assessment piece in today’s N.Y. Times about potential revenues from James Cameron‘s Avatar states the following:

(a) “Published reports have put the production budget at more than $230 million“;

(b) “[But] when global marketing expenses are added, Avatar may cost its various backers $500 million“;

(c) “Fox’s biggest investment in Avatar may be on the marketing side, where the company is planning to spend about $150 million around the world”;

(d) Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corporation “is carrying a much smaller share of Avatar’s production cost, as a pair of private equity partners — Dune Entertainment and Ingenious Media — pick up 60 percent of the budget”;

(e) “If domestic ticket sales reach $250 million — a level broken in the last year by five films, including Star Trek and The Hangover — Fox and its allies would appear to be headed into the black.”

I’m lost — totally lost. MCN’s David Poland posted a pretty good slice-and-dice reaction piece last night. Says what I was thinking and then some.