If you're like a lot of people, you've probably seen Matt Damon's latest film, The Martian, by now. Damon plays an astronaut accidentally left behind on Mars who needs rescue.
It's a great film, sure. But didn't you get the feeling you'd seen it before?
The phenomena of Matt Damon playing characters that need to be rescued is REAL. You can even take a BuzzFeed quiz titled "Which 'Oops, We Forgot Matt Damon' Movie Are You?"
Well, one man has attempted to work out just out how much fictional money has been spent rescuing Matt Damon from all his escapades. Meet Australian Kynan Eng, a Zurich-based researcher into artificial intelligence.
In a Quora post from September that has now gone viral, Eng looked at all the films in which Damon needed a savior. He tallied up the budgets and made estimates for how much fictional cash each rescue cost.
1. Courage Under Fire (1996) — $300,000
2. Saving Private Ryan (1998) — $100,000
3. Titan A.E. (2000) — $200 Billion
4. Syriana (2005) — $50,000
5. Green Zone (2010) — $50,000
6. Elysium (2013) — $100 Million
7. Interstellar (2014) — $500 Billion
8. The Martian (2015) — $200 Billion
GRAND TOTAL SPENT SAVING MATT DAMON:
Eng also calculated that the combined budgets for all the save-Matt-Damon films comes to more than $729 million.
So how did he come up with the fictional costs? "I just made them up," he confessed to BuzzFeed News. "This is not real research in the sense that I know it. It would be nice to get this type of coverage for my real work."
Eng's Quora post contains some interesting sidenotes on how he arrived at his calculations, though. Namely, why didn't he chose to include the Jason Bourne series? "Because Matt Damon does lots of travel at his own expense (he might have lots of frequent flyer points under different identities)," Eng writes. "Or maybe it's yes, because plenty of money is spent trying to 'bring him back' — but the people looking for him don't seem to be very concerned about his safety."
So, is Matt Damon worth saving? Eng hesitated before answering the question.
"I have to be careful what I say here," he said. "Let's say, I think that many of the things that the character is doing are fascinating endeavors which are worth the long-term investment."
"It's not about Matt Damon personally," he said.
The grand total is $900,100,500,000. We initially flubbed the maths. Soz.