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How much did Rob Zombie’s ‘The Munsters’ cost?

The director shot down rumors that he reanimated the horror-comic family with an impressively high budget.

The Munsters
Image via Universal 1440 Entertainment

The Munsters’ 2022 incarnation was always likely to be a bag of snakes. 

The lovably horrible family is used to reboots and reinventions. The original Golden Globe-nominated 1960s sitcom re-emerged in the 1970s as an animated feature, then as a sequel TV series in the late 1980s. Bryan Fuller attempted a radical reboot in 2021, but NBC failed to pick up the pilot of Mockingbird Lane, supposedly over its uneven tone.

Well, if that tone was unsettling, buckle up. 

The Munsters 2022 was the first time a bonafide horror had opened up their household. Rob Zombie, the heavy metal icon and director of two Halloween movies, seemed guaranteed to drag the family into dark waters for Universal Pictures. But then again, the director’s first two movies, House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, not that their names suggest it, were dark comedies.

That was debunked when images and a trailer appeared in summer 2022. The video-stock effect, bright grading, garish colors, and humor were met with raised eyebrows worthy of Grandpa Munster. A lot of that was because of a rumor that the feature had a budget of $40 million. The story spread as eagle-eyed viewers tried to spot it on screen, not helped by the suggestion that the movie was heading for a simultaneous streaming and movie theater release. Things didn’t improve when the film was released on Netflix in late September. 

The director shot down that impressive-sounding budget soon after the trailer’s release. Zombie clearly made some very specific choices adapting the material. As a prequel to the original series following the courtship and marriage of leads Herman and Lily, it retained a similar comedic tone to the original series, all unexpectedly wrapped up as a love story. The director’s choices wouldn’t usually shout ‘budget,’ but the criticism still felt unfair. The lo-fi filming style and bright colors could mask some of the more spectacular ways money reached the screen. After all, Zombie had documented the construction of Mockingbird Lane sets on his Instagram for a year before the movie’s release. But despite Zombie shooting the rumored budget down, the comparison wasn’t ideal and set the family’s latest emergence a grave challenge. So how much did The Munsters cost? 

What is ‘The Munsters’ 2022 budget?

the munsters second trailer
Image via Universal 1440 Entertainment

As confirmed by Zombie in July 2022, The Munsters was always intended to be released on Netflix, which suggests its budget, and its viewing figures, will be difficult to lock down. It hasn’t been confirmed exactly how much The Munsters cost. However, in his response to those budget rumors, Zombie narrowed the figure down. 

“How the hell did everyone get the idea that The Munsters cost 40 millions dollars? F**k, I wish I had that kind of budget. To put a little perspective on it all if you add up the budgets of Halloween 2, The Lords of Salem, 31, 3 From Hell and The Munsters all together it wouldn’t even add up to 30 million.”

To add up the budgets of those movies, the production of Halloween 2 was estimated at $15 million, while 3 From Hell is thought to have cost $3 million. The Lords of Salem and 31 were both placed at $1.5 million. Those sound like some very specific choices from Zombie’s horror resume, directly from the mouth of the person who produced or co-produced all of them. That $21 million leaves The Munster’s budget at no more than $9 million. If that’s the total, no surprise the director shot down the rumors.

As Zombie continued on social media, “the internet loves to invent rumors which somehow turns to facts so the fans can get all bend out of shape. None of this actually matters but thought you might like the real story. RZ”

The Munsters, starring Jeff Daniel Phillips, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Daniel Roebuck, started streaming on Netflix on September 27, 2022.

Matt Goddard
About the author

Matt Goddard

Matt enjoys casting Jack Kirby color, Zack Snyder slow-mo, and J.J. Abrams lens flare on every facet of pop culture. Since graduating with a degree in English from the University of York, his writing on film, TV, games, and more has appeared on WGTC, Mirror Online and the Guardian.