Yes, but they're supporting it with a fantastically popular show that pushes merchandise very well.>>82773827
Yes but there are hundreds of people earning peanuts.
It's easy to say the director is getting 10 times what everybody else is getting (he probably isn't, these days), it's much less easy to say we could do without that unit way out over there whose jobs could be put on these three other units for half the money it's currently costing, spread out as payrises. It's the job of the producers and director to decide on who and what they need; if they need 200 people to make the show, then the show is expensive to make because those 200 people, even if they're working for scale, cost a lot of money.
Look at it like this: extras get fuck all. In different countries they get more, or less, depending on whether they have union shops in those countries.
In the US (and for US guild members working on US productions overseas) extras get $342 for an eight-hour day. Each. So if you have a diner scene with 10 non-speaking parts, that's $3420 gone. That's if you get it all done in 8 hours - you need them for 9 or more, it's another $85 or so per extra per hour, until you're in 16+ hours, at which point it's "golden time" and they get $342 every hour or part-hour they're needed - whether or not they're in front of the camera, even if they're napping next to the set.
Which is why you pay for directors who can get shit done in 8 hours or less and still finish everything in time for release, whether that's a movie, tv show, or commercial. If you need to hire kids it's even more expensive, because they're only allowed to work a certain number of hours - so if you need them for longer, your week is longer, and that means the per diem cost goes up accordingly for everybody else you need.
The costs are that high because of the cost of living in the US; that's as high as it is for complex factors well beyond the control of the film industry.
With cartoons -