Hollywood A-listers Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio were paid a reported combined $97 million to appear in a 16-minute short film, titled The Audition, to promote the new venture.
That’s more than twice the cost of what Chanel splashed out on a two-minute ad featuring Nicole Kidman, which was previously cited as the most expensive advertisement.
The pricey promo is directed by Oscar legend Martin Scorsese who is also expected to join his trio of stars on the red carpet as part of their record payday.
“The Audition is a cool way of getting together some legends in the industry and as a short film it can be shown on planes, on TV and we think it’s a smart advertisement for this new casino,” said Brett Ratner, James’s movie company partner.
“It’s about having some fun and bringing Hollywood to this part of the world.”
Other highlights this week are a performance by James’s new girlfriend Mariah Carey who is reputedly receiving a high six-figure fee for the one-off gig.
Times have been tough in Macau, a special administrative region of China that was a Portuguese colony until 1999, because of economic problems in Beijing and a crackdown in corruption.
But James and his business partner Lawrence Ho are gambling on the Hollywood stars pulling the punters back to the tables.
Studio City, which has 1640 hotel rooms and the ability to support up to 500 gaming tables and 1500 slots, is looking to cash in on the rise of Chinese tourists travelling abroad.
“The mass market segment still has much potential for development,” said Lawrence this week.
Meanwhile, James has met NSW Premier Mike Baird to quiz him on why the planning process for his $2billion Sydney venture, Barangaroo Casino, is taking so long.
The Premier is said to have given the casino billionaire some assurance that he’s still on track for a 2019 opening.
But any further delays in settling a dispute between Lendlease and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority could push the launch back to 2020, or beyond.