This morning there was a news story in the Wall Street Journal on the serious depletion of US Helium reserve. While congress does their job let us take a moment to analyze the impact of a story like this on the Pixar movie UP. If you have not seen it here is a good review.
Breaking down the numbers:
Constant: Lifting force of helium.
1 Gram per liter of Helium
Estimates: Average weight of a US home.
120,000 lbs. (80,000 to 160,000 pounds)
In metric (to science-ify it): 54,431.1 Kilograms or 54,431,100 Grams
= Quantity of Helium required to achieve lift: 54,431,100 Liters
Supply and Demand: Government set price of helium.
$84 per 1000 cubic feet (mcf) for fiscal year 2013.
1 mcf = 28,317 Liters
= $0.00296 per Liter
Putting the numbers together:
54,431,100 Liters * $0.00296 = $161,116.056
With that kind of large upfront investment required (keep in mind no such thing as a mortgage for helium) no way UP could have been possible. These are conservative numbers following cost has not been taken in to consideration:
- Back office coordination
- Extra helium to account for loss due to
- Weak balloon knots
- Balloons lost to environment (birds, wires, trees, etc.)
- Impromptu helium voice party
- and so much more…
My point in all this: Thank You Animators!!!
Until next time,