"Sahara" budget swelled with bribes in Morocco and the filming of a $2 million (1.48 million EUR) airplane crash that never made it onscreen.
A final budget and other documents filed as confidential exhibits in a lawsuit were cited Saturday by the Los Angeles Times.
Cussler has sued Crusader Entertainment, a company owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, claiming it reneged on a contract that gave him creative control over the movie.
Crusader filed a countersuit against Cussler, claiming he was disruptive during the film-making process and disparaged the movie before its release.
Each suit seeks millions of dollars.
Crusader's attorneys contend that the company lost more than $80 million (59.12 million EUR) on "Sahara" even though it opened No. 1 at the box office in April 2005. It generated $122 million (90.16 million EUR) in gross box-office sales, the Times said.
According to the documents, McConaughey was the highest-paid of about 1,000 cast and crew members on "Sahara," receiving $8 million (5.91 million EUR). Cruz earned $1.6 million (1.18 million EUR).
Other expenses included filming the crash of a vintage airplane, a 46-second sequence that was deleted from the movie because "in the context of the movie, it didn't work," director Breck Eisner said.
Ten screenwriters were paid $3.8 million (2.81 million EUR).
Documents cited by the Times also listed 16 "courtesy payments," "gratuities" and "local bribes" totaling $237,386 (175,425 EUR) in Morocco to expedite filming. That included a $40,688 (30,068 EUR) payment to stop a river improvement project while filming and $23,250 (17,181.50 EUR) for "Political/Mayoral support."
On the other hand, Crusader received $20.4 million (15.08 million EUR) in government incentives to film portions of "Sahara" and do post-production work in Europe, the newspaper reported.
Anschutz said in a sworn deposition that he never set a limit on production costs but became "concerned" as they climbed to $160 million (118.24 million EUR).
"What I wanted to do is make a good film," he said, adding: "At the end, we spent, in my view, too much money."
"We should use shock therapy to sober up the Americans. In this case, the Americans will speak about the need to resume dialogue. There is no other option"
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