‘Yellowstone’ premiere sets record as creator explains billion-dollar risk behind success
The first screening of the new show “Yellowstone” was also the highest-grossing film in history, shattering the previous record set by “Star Trek” for June and July of last year, an extraordinary feat given the amount of money that the National Geographic Society has spent on the project.
The first-ever premiere of “Yellowstone” was in the grand old movie house in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday night, as one of the biggest premieres in history.
The movie was the only theatrical release in the U.S. and the first of a planned four-year run of new theatrical releases from National Geographic, which had already been selling DVDs of the film through its website.
The movie cost $15 million to $20 million to make, a very high price for a film that’s only going to run for 50 minutes. National Geographic has already sold an estimated 3 million copies of “Yellowstone” in the first weeks it’s available.
In all, National Geographic has invested more than a billion dollars since its founding in 1888 as The Smithsonian Institution, in order to make the film, and it’s the world’s most expensive TV documentary yet.
All of that money, and the $20 million price tag for just the premiere, is part of the reason why the show was the first theatrical release in history to break the record of $14.2 million that “Star Trek” did when it took in $7.5 million for its opening weekend in April 1998.
One of the reasons that “Yellowstone” broke the record was that people couldn’t get tickets. The show cost $15 million to make and is only going to last 50 minutes. But because “Yellowstone” was the first theatrical release in history, the producers had to make a whole lot of movies the following day, even though only six of them will be shown at the premiere.
In all, 1,500 people bought tickets for the premiere, despite the film only having cost $15 million to shoot and only taking 10 days to edit.
All of this makes