The Prestige: $109 million worldwide on $40 million budget
The Illusionist: $87.89 million worldwide on $16.5 million budget
Despite boasting Christopher Nolan and attaching his name to everything regarding his film The Prestige, Neil Burger’s The Illusionist is a rather elaborate, Victorian-era magician retrospective that holds its own respect and grace. The Prestige was given a nationwide release while The Illusionist bounced around the festival circuit. 2006 was a good year for the stars of The Prestige. It was probably Hugh Jackman’s best year in a 2006 that saw an X-men movie, two animated movies, and Woody Allen, Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan collaborations for the Australian actor. Christian Bale was only a year removed from his debut as the Caped Crusader in his first Nolan collaboration, Batman Begins, and he was fresh off working with Terrence Malick and Werner Herzog. Despite having Edward Norton and Jessica Biel at the top of the cast list, The Illusionist simply didn’t have a name whose career was white-hot when The Prestige had three in Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman and Scarlett Johansson.