How Much Did These Famous Movie Funerals Cost?
Funerals make for classic scenes in many films, oftentimes representing that culmination of our protagonists struggles in which they lose their own or a friend’s life. They can also help to deliver comedy by making light of an otherwise serious event. Whatever the function of a funeral scene in a movie, we can also take a look at some famous movie funerals in order to have some fun and see how much funerals, ordinary and extraordinary, can cost.
Fair warning: spoilers below!
Batman v Superman
In classic superhero movie fare, DC Comics’ latest blockbuster features the title character giving his life to save the city. We’ll not be concerned with Superman’s state funeral, which Batman and Wonderwoman dismiss as fake at the real funeral. Instead, we’ll focus on the costs incurred by the more personal funeral held for family and friends in Superman’s hometown of Smallville, Kansas.
By all accounts this is a modest funeral with just a few trusted individuals present, so we can expect costs to be within a certain range. However, as Martha Kent reaches for her checkbook, a funeral goer turns to inform her that everything has been taken care of by an anonymous party. Not unlike having burial insurance, then, the Kent family can mourn in peace without feeling bogged down by funeral costs.
Cost: $0 (costs covered by Bruce Wayne).
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
In this iconic science fiction funeral, Captain Kirk’s right-hand Vulcan is given a respectful burial in space (following the naval tradition of burying fallen sailors at sea). The cost of this funeral is muddied by several factors. Although Roddenberry’s vision of the future didn’t include currency as we know it today, we can safely make a few assumptions about the costs incurred to bury Spock based on present day costs for seafaring ships and space travel.
An article by Gizmodo does just that. Accounting for as many variables as we can and tallying up the cost of the items necessary for Spock’s funeral (the starship Enterprise and the photon torpedo casing that carried Spock into space), we can get a rough estimate of how much this funeral might cost.
Cost: Roughly $6 Billion for the photon torpedo, $479 Billion total.
The Sixth Sense
In this classic Shyamalan film a young boy, Cole, discovers that he has the ability to see the spirits of the dead on Earth. In an iconic scene from the film he goes to a young girl’s funeral on the advice of his therapist, in order to hopefully find out why it is that he can see her spirit and what can be done to put her to rest.
At the wake, an upscale affair held at the family’s home, Cole follows the young girl’s spirit up to her old room where he is shown a video tape that reveals her death as no accident and implicates the girl’s mother in her murder. Given that the family is of no modest means, we can safely assume that the cost of this funeral, while more than most, is likely well within the range of some types of burial insurance.
Cost: Upwards of $10,000, the upper end of an average funeral in America.
Man on the Moon
The comedian Andy Kaufman was well known for making his jokes very very practical and sometimes taking them too far. Fan theories that he faked his death have been popular for some time and seem well-supported by the comedian’s comedic style and periodic comments that he could someday fake his own death for the sake of a joke.
As an aside, if you’re thinking about don’t this yourself, stop thinking that. Faking your death to collect on a life insurance plan can get you in a lot of trouble.
Regardless of whether or not this fan theory is true, the events leading to its inception are explored in the biopic, Man on the Moon. The funeral towards the end of the film is largely indistinguishable from a classical American funeral. Friends and family gathered in a church where Kaufman’s body is on display. However, Kaufman also makes the bold decision to play a clip of him singing for those in attendance, giving them one last living memory to go with.
Cost: $11,000, an average cost for a funeral plus the cost of making the film and hiring the projector.