Studio specialty divisions are no longer low-budget arthouse arms: Last year, the cost of production for specialty pics rose a whopping 60% vs. an 8% rise for major-studio titles, Variety reports.


Those were just a few of the eyebrow-raising numbers from the Motion Picture Assn. of America's annual state-of-the-union roundup, which was released Wednesday.


The MPAA report showed that it cost an average of $74.9 million to produce and release a specialty film in 2007. Production costs spiked 60% over the previous year to $49.2 million, while the average cost of advertising increased 44% to $25.7 million.


By comparison, the average cost of producing a studio film last year was up 8% over 2006 to $70.8 million, while the average cost of advertising was up 4% to $35.9 million.


The MPAA also reported that worldwide box office reached an all-time high of $26.7 billion in 2007.


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