The world’s most expensive audition

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Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

There are so many things that come in to your head when you catch “The Audition” a.k.a. the new ad for City of Dreams in Manila.

1. Whoa! Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro—together again. Whoa! With Leonardo Di Caprio. For those of us a bit older, we know how De Niro was in many ways Scorsese’s muse. They made music together. Beginning with Mean Streets in 1973, then Taxi Driver, New York, New York, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear and Casino—their last outing together 20 years ago. Scorsese gets Academy Award nominations for Raging Bull and Goodfellas; De Niro wins the Oscar for Raging Bull and gets nominations for Cape Fear and Taxi Driver.

In 2002, Leonardo Di Caprio appears in Gangs of New York—and then boom—The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island and The Wolf of Wall Street follow. Scorsese gets best director Oscar nominations for all of those except Shutter Island. He wins one for The Departed. Di Caprio gets Oscar nominations for The Aviator and Wolf of Wall Street.

2. Whoops! Wait a minute, what’s Brad Pitt doing there?


3. After that you’re thinking how much money did it cost to get the A list of the A list in that ad? According to Time magazine, the campaign cost about $70 million or over P3 billion. Vanity Fair places Leonardo and Robert’s talent fees in the neighborhood of $13 million or P585 million.

4. Who on earth is peeing out all that cash? I walked the City of Dreams in Macau last year when I went to see The Rolling Stones perform. You cannot avoid it—City of Dreams Macau houses a 420,000 square-foot casino, 450 gaming tables and 1,514 gaming machines. It also houses the Hard Rock Hotel, The Grand Hyatt and Crown Towers and on top of that 175,000 square feet of retail. And this is not counting the restaurants yet.

5. Forbes magazine called Macau “Vegas on steroids.” It may not have all the entertainment options of Vegas but it is a gambling juggernaut, its gambling income is currently seven times bigger than Vegas’. A gander around Macau shows there is digging and building everywhere. It’s like they can’t build resort casinos fast enough!

Of course we can all just stop and marvel at how awesome that ad is (not thinking about the deep pockets behind it) and go by that Pentoshi adage from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones: “Never ask the baker what went into the pie. Just eat.”

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