How much has it cost to rescue Matt Damon?

Matt Damon in “The Martian.”
Matt Damon in “The Martian.”(Twentieth Century Fox)

In September, Zurich researcher Kynan Eng did some math regarding Matt Damon. In response to the question "How much money has been spent attempting to bring Matt Damon back from distant places?" on the knowledge website Quora, Eng answered, "$900b plus change." That number shouldn't come as a surprise; Damon's big-budget movie characters are stranded in far-off places (most recently Mars). After Eng's post was promoted and it got a boost from BuzzFeed, his answer went viral. This is Eng's breakdown of the numbers (in 2015 dollars):

"Courage Under Fire'' (first Gulf War helicopter rescue) $300,000


"Saving Private Ryan'' (World War II Europe search party) $100,000

"Titan AE'' (Earth evacuation spaceship) $200 billion

"Syriana'' (Middle East private security return flight) $50,000

"Green Zone'' (US Army transport from Middle East) $50,000

"Elysium'' (space station security deployment and damages) $100 million

"Interstellar'' (interstellar spaceship) $500 billion

"The Martian'' (Mars mission) $200 billion

Eng updated the post to explain why he doesn't include the Jason Bourne movies in the list: ". . . because Matt Damon does lots of travel at his own expense (he might have lots of frequent flyer points under different identities). 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." Seems fair.

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