Lionsgate Gambles Millions On 'Crash'

The Envelope reports that Lionsgate had to disclose exactly what its been spending on its For Your Consideration assault for Crash, letting us know exactly what the studio is willing to spend to buy itself an Oscar. The total's up to $4 million (against the movie's reported $6.5 million budget) for the entire awards-season campaign, with the last couple of million coming after the movie snagged its nominations in the only contest that matters:

Just before Oscar nominations closed, Lions Gate earmarked another $500,000. After "Crash" scored six Oscar nominations — best picture, best director, best original screenplay, best song, best editing and best supporting actor for Matt Dillon — yet another $1.5 million was budgeted.

On a conference call with analysts Friday, Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer called spending the extra $2 million a "prudent investment."

Here's why: Feltheimer estimates an Oscar win could provide a windfall of as much as $10 million, because Lions Gate would would sell more DVDs, and get more money when "Crash" is shown on TV.

Of course, the numbers are really only shocking if you consider them in isolation. (Or if you consider they're flushing it down Crash's toilet.) $2 million is hardly a fart in a financial hurricane when you realize that Harvey Weinstein probably kept that much in his petty cash drawer to pay off all the hookers he had to hire to push Shakespeare in Love to victory over Saving Private Ryan back in Miramax's good old days, then have them "disappear" after their mission of persuasion was completed.