Most expensive punchline?

It’s also possible they got a cheap car that was totaled from engine/drive train failure but had a good body, like one that was started after a flood submerging. Being an insurance company they likely have a ready database of ones in any condition you car to name.

Not exactly a punchline, but Dodge had years of commercials where they dropped trucks from a height to show how “Ram tough” they were.

I doubt that the trucks they dropped were put up for sale. Still, I swore I’d never buy a Dodge because I didn’t want to get one.

Gerald Ratner’spunchline wiped about about £500M off his company.

And this was back in 1991, when £500M was a lot of money.

That’s a payoff, not a punchline. The entire movie builds to that scene.

In The General, it’s just a throwaway gag.

Forget the commercial folks. It’s just the example that inspired the question. If you have a good example, please share. If you hate the first example and want to debunk it, to the pit. Geesh! While you are at it, you can debate the realism of elementary math word problems.

First thing that occurs to me is the Shelby Cobra that gets smashed in the first Iron Man.

In the mid-1990’s, I was the Steadicam Operator on a Mercedes-Benz commercial. No clue which model. We shot with me mounted facing backwards on a vehicle, with the rig hard-mounted. I had a stunt driver racing along behind me. All about safety first, I had a heart-to-heart with the stunt driver regarding loss of control on either side. If he had a problem, he said he didn’t care about the car- he’d swerve away. If I had a problem and was feeling as though the rig might fly off and hit the car/windshield, my move was to tilt my head up to the sky and he’d peel way. I felt good about this.

That car was…wicked close to me. The lens was on level with the emblem. I thought about the frame, and my knees. We shot in the canyons of lower Manhattan, around Wall Street. All went well.

Then, I took the Steadicam off of the A.T.V. I had it mounted to and stood off to the side as they shot longer-lens footage of some of the sexier stunts. ( Skidding, sliding into turns around the corner, etc. ) Here’s what a Steadicam on an A.T.V. looks like. NOT me, not my rig. But a good representation.

The driver was approaching from the right, and turning right- away from me. So I stood at the safe corner to watch. That same stunt driver who I worked with an hour before took that turn a bit too “hot”. He skidded fast in the turn and the car’s left wheels slammed into the (typically) high curb. So hard that the car rocked up on those two tires, about 30º, and slammed back down.

He hit so hard he broke the trans-axle. Totaled a brand new car. I was stunned. The guys from Mercedes who were standing near me watching started cursing. They had one spare car. And, all of the cars were on loan from a dealer across the river in N.J.- and they were now on the hook for replacement cost.

Driver got out. Looked at things. Walked away. Waited for the spare to be brought in. Could have cared less.

A sobering education in stunts.

All said, damage/ destruction of a car is frequently factored into the cost of shooting a car commercial. On the OTHER hand, I’ve watched that commercial a dozen times. It’s a real car, it is not real cement. Folks, it’s 2019, not 1995. C.G.I. is so advanced, that digitally creating that mess of random cement gushing down onto the car is child’s play. Literally.

One could sit down at the Wacom Tablet, start making choices, and turn that cement iridescent blue. Or give it harsh texturing. Or make it deep flat black as though liquid velvet were pouring onto the car.

Easy peasey.

That car remains untouched, from what I can see. Digitizing the bird crap is an amusing touch. :slight_smile:

In one, they rented a supposedly-real skeleton of a giant ground sloth from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and connected to it a hose that sprayed out Dom Perignon champagne.

Blues Brothers movie wrecked a ton of cars . There is one scene late in the movie where a bunch of cop cars all crash and some even go on top of each others there are so many .

BTW, I’ve never owned a Chrysler, but I thought that and the Pontiac sister car were pretty nice looking cars. It was a shame when the models were dropped as a result of the financial crisis.

No - it’s a Crossfire convertible. Enthusiasts are outraged:

The General was filmed in 1927. That loco wasn’t worth any more then scrap value at the time.


I believe there was a Simpsons episode where they licensed a song to use in a scene as a joke but the scene was deleted for time, but they had already purchased the rights to the song so it was all a complete waste of money for a 10 second joke that didn’t happen.

Stanley Kubrick spent almost half a million pounds IIRC on a huge plastic pyramid as the alien artifact for 2001: A Space Odyssey, and hated it the moment he saw the finished object. They went with a polished black wooden monolith instead.

We Just Wasted 2 Million Bucks

You’re a little too late.

Emphasis mine.

Hardly. The two that weren’t destroyed were still in use on the Oregon railroad where the filming took place, and although the article doesn’t say anything about the age or provenance of the “hero” engine, it was clearly a working unit, and not just a worthless pile of junk. It may not have been the latest model, but it probably could have continued working for decades. Steam engines of all vintages were widely used right up into the 1950s, when diesel took over.

You can get a good-looking sports car with failed mechanicals for less than it costs to hire a concrete-pumper for a day.

They didn’t need a concrete pumper. As I remember, all we saw was the last few feet of the pipe. All they needed was that and some way to fill it with the fake concrete.

No, it’s very clearly a concrete bucket being held by a cable attached to a crane. Whether it was filled with concrete is unknown.

I’ll throw in the “house over the cliff” gag at the end of Spielberg’s “1941” - that must have been a lot to spend for a single joke.