movie math

Saving Matt Damon in All Those Movies Cost 5 Percent of the U.S. GDP

Matt Damon! Photo: Dreamworks, Twentieth Century Fox

Has any A-lister ever spent as much of his career in need of rescue as Matt Damon has? From the time he got saved by Meg Ryan in Courage Under Fire, to the time he got saved by Jessica Chastain in The Martian, Damon’s characters are always getting stranded in dangerous situations that often require dramatic effort from his co-stars to overcome. But these efforts have a cost, not just in lives — RIP, all you dudes in Saving Private Ryan — but also in cold, hard dollars. How much has the U.S. government (with some assistance from the private sector) spent saving Matt Damon in all those movies? One Quora user did the math:

My estimates, costs are in 2015 currency:

Courage Under Fire (Gulf War 1 helicopter rescue): $300,000
Saving Private Ryan (WW2 Europe search party): $100,000
Titan AE (Earth evacuation spaceship): $200 billion
Syriana (Middle East private security return flight): $50,000
Green Zone (US Army transport from Middle East): $50,000
Elysium (Space station security deployment and damages): $100 million
Interstellar (Interstellar spaceship): $500 billion
The Martian (Mars mission): $200 billion
TOTAL: $900 billion plus change

That’s nearly a trillion dollars: 1/18th of the gross domestic product of the United States, and a quarter of the U.S. government’s annual budget. And yet, according to Box Office Mojo, all of Damon’s movies, also adjusting for inflation, have only brought in $3.8 billion. Come on, Matt Damon — earn this!

Here’s How Much Money It Cost to Save Matt Damon