Why is Strathairn frowning?
We think he's trying to figure out Hollywood math. The Randy Quaid lawsuit against the producers of Brokeback Mountain — they had him work cheap, but then spent big on marketing — has people looking at the mini-majors. How do they get to make those cool edgy films? By asking the actors to work for peanuts. And then, there's the wacky math. As explained to the NY Times:
Good Night, and Good Luck, from Warner Independent, cost a mere $8 million to produce, with the actors earning the lowest permissible union fee, known as scale, an executive involved in the film said. Warner Brothers spent about $25 million to promote the film for the Oscars and in its general release, so while the movie took in $51 million around the world, there will be no profit to share in.
We're going to try this ourselves: $51 million minus $25 million = $26 million. Subtract from that $8 million ... we see a profit of $18 million. Or the short version: 51-(25+8)=18. Yep, we still see $18 million.
Wow, we wouldn't mind having "no profit" of $18 million. We'd be happy to share it with Randy Quaid.