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It should surprise no one to discover that launching a film at the Cannes festival is an absurdly expensive proposition, as the overseas export of Hollywood's auto-fellating promotional machinery requires the transport, lodging, and constant pampering of scores of entitiled executives, talent, and hangers-on pressed into movie-pimping duty. (Publicists and other support staff, of course, sleep 30 to a motel room and subsist only on the croissant crumbs they brush off their betters' tuxedo lapels on the red carpet.) In looking at the costs associated with properly debuting at Cannes, the LAT notes that at least one maverick studio is doing what it can to halt the budget-destroying insanity:

Thanks to the collapsing dollar, mandatory first-class travel (if not $150,000 private jet trips) for both movie stars and their countless handlers and friends, and Cannes' onerous minimum-night hotel rules, the price tag for a Cannes unveiling can be staggering, often four times (or more) the tab for an equally lavish Hollywood premiere. A suite at the popular Majestic Hotel costs about $2,500 a night, while a big room at the swank Carlton can run up to $3,000. The tiniest room at the ultra-luxurious Hotel du Cap is more than $1,000 a night, with suites logarithmically higher.

["Marky" Mark] Wahlberg, the costar of this year's Cannes entry "We Own the Night," asked that he and his five-member entourage stay at the Du Cap. But the film's producers, 2929 Entertainment, said it was only willing to pay for Wahlberg and a few assistants, not his entire retinue. Wahlberg has now told 2929 he won't be attending the festival. The production company declined to comment, and Wahlberg's talent agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wahlberg (whom we hardly need to remind you is the inspiration for Entourage, so he has a rep to maintain) certainly won't feel any better about 2929's refusal to meet his freeloader-indulging demands when good pal George Clooney, at Cannes for the spectacular international debut of Ocean's 13, phones him each night of the festival to brag about how deep-pocketed Warner Bros. not only put up his second masseuse (lumbar region and manual releases only) in a Du Cap suite, they even offered to build a perfect replica of his L.A. home on the roof of the hotel so that his stay in France would be as comfortable as possible.