Moviemakers have the aura of bringing just about any scenario to life, just by having the right financial plan. They invest millions of dollars to produce just one movie. These investments mostly pay off after production. It is common knowledge that you need to spend if you want to win big. However, the moviemakers may not make back what they invested in the movie production in some instances.
The most expensive movies ever made cost more than many films can ever hope to earn at the box office. Occasionally, those investments pay off. In other cases, they lead to disappointment for the filmmakers and the studio.
Here’s our list of the most expensive movies ever made.
10 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made
As we all know, the movie industry is huge and rewarding, with more and more movies topping the list of the most expensive movie ever made. We rank our movies based on the estimated amount of dollars involved regarding our list of the most expensive movies ever made. Although many moviemakers do not publish the exact amount that went into the making process, there is a general harmony based on interviews and reports about the amount that went into making the movie. We will also take inflation into account.
Here, we break down the most expensive movies ever made:
1. Avatar (2009)
Cost $237 million
It turned out that the making of Avatar is less expensive than many people believed. Initially, reporters speculated that the interesting movie could cost around $280 million – $500 million. However, this was debunked when Fox released the official cost of production, which revealed that the film just cost $237 million.
Avatar was not just any movie as its entrance into the movie industry was the first of its kind. It took Cameron and the crew 14 months to develop the technology and software used in the movie’s motion capture. Likewise, more than 900 people were employed at Weta Digital to work on the movie’s digital after-effect. The essence of the technology used for the movie was to make the overall outlook of the movie a luscious one. Moreover, the movie itself generated way over 2 billion dollars, making it the first to get to that amount. That could be the reward for being one of the most expensive movie in the world.
2. The Hobbit
Cost – $207 million after tax rebate
The Hobbit is a trilogy movie that was made at different years – an Unexpected Journey (2012), the Desolation of Smaug (2013), and the Battle of Five Armies (2014). The cost of producing each of them was around $207 million after tax rebate, costing a total of about $745 million to produce. Nevertheless, the Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies cost more than the others.
Additionally, the three movies were produced at the same time, and even when the cost is divided evenly, all of the Hobbit movies will still appear on the list of the ten most expensive movies in the world. One of the leading reasons for the high cost of making the Hobbit trilogy is that they were produced in 3D and had 45 frames per second. At the box office, the Hobbit trilogy generated around $2.932 billion.
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3. Pirates of the Caribbean
Cost – $500 million
This was another movie that cost a fortune to make. It involved two arms: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) and at World’s End (2007). The movies were both made together and their production cost Disney around $500 million. Although it is difficult to allocate the particular amount that went into one movie, splitting both costs equally will still bring them to the list of the most expensive movies in the world ever made.
The Pirates of the Caribbean saw a blend of the A-list actors including Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Keira Knightley. The locations for casting the movies were out of the ordinary. Special effects of the movie also led to the expensiveness of the movie.
4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Cost – $250 million
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was the sixth installment of the eight Harry Potter movie series. However, it had the largest budget among all. Chances were that the final installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would have cost as much as the sixth edition but it was divided into two separate movies that were filmed concurrently on the same budget, which led to the lowering of the cost of production for each.
This movie featured the likes of Daniel Radcliffe (who acted as Harry Potter), Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, and Alan Rickman. The moviemakers were able to go home with almost a billion dollars (934.4 million).
5. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Cost – $258 million
The budget for the making of Spider-Man 3 was confirmed when Sony publicly acknowledged the production cost to be $258 million. The movie was filmed in Los Angeles, Cleveland, and Peter Parker’s hometown, New York City. It saw Spider-Man face off with three different adversaries in the person of Sandman, Venom, and Harry Osborn as New Goblin.
Out of the trilogy of Spider-Man, this third part was more financially successful than others, although it faced some level of criticism. Also, a fourth movie was deliberated upon but Sony and Raimi had a fallout and that could not become a reality.
6. John Carter (2012)
Cost – $306.6 million ($263.7 million after tax rebate)
The movie was created based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ seminal sci-fi classic – A Princess of Mars. The setting was on Mars and starred Taylor Kitsch.
John Carter was a flop at the box office and it was not unconnected to the budget. Although $306.6 million was invested into the production, it only generated $284.1 million. Apparently, that did not make up for the cost of production and marketing.
Moreover, the moviemaking took longer time than it should and many scenes were being reshot. In addition, over 2000 special effects were added to the post-production part of the movie. Also, the movie was shot in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Although there was supposed to be a sequel to the debut production, due to the bland performance and reception in theatres, particularly at the US box office, everything was put on hold. Regardless of the turnover, it was one of the most expensive movies in the world.
7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)/Star Wars: The Rise o Skywalker
If you had screamed upon hearing the flop of John Carter, you may have to redo it when you hear the story of this epic movie. The movie’s original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were sacked from the project after they shot for close to six months. Lucasfilm was upset at the comedic direction of the movie and other reasons.
As a result, they were replaced by Ron Howard who carried out the remaining shooting and reshooting of the movie. However, Lord and Miller were credited as the original directors of the movie and Howard, the sole director.
At the end of the day, the movie became another recorded disappointment at the box office. It recorded a $76.9 million loss at the end of the day, yet it was one of the most expensive movies in the world.
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8. Avenger: Age of Ultron (2015)
Cost: $330.6 million (279.9 million after tax rebate)
This movie was a follow-up to the first Avengers movie. The production was star-studded and A-list stars like Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans as Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America respectively. The primary movie location of Avenger: Age of Ultron was England. However, it had on-site filming from Bangladesh, Italy, South Korea, and New York City. The cost of the movie was verified by the UK tax rebate to be $330.6 million, making it one of the most expensive movies in the world.
After the production, the moviemakers were able to rake around $1.403 billion at the box office, making it the sixth-highest grossing film of all time.
9. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Cost – $316 million
Infinity War was a complex and one of the most expensive movies in the world. It was due to be filmed together with the then-unedited sequel which would ultimately become Endgame. However, they were eventually shot back-to-back. This combined production was an enterprise of unparalleled size, having thousands of effects shots carried out by different production houses. It featured majorly A-list stars which must have cost an arm on its own.
Just like it is said that the more expensive it is, the more money is at stake, the producers of this great movie were rewarded with a whopping sum of $2.05 billion. Moreover, it got ecstatic reviews from critics and the audience reaction was thrilling. But that did not deter the moviemakers from following it up the next year and Endgame was born.
10. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Cost – $356 million
If Infinity War was a go-getting sight, the follow-up took the whole scenery to a higher level. Endgame has over 3000 visual effects shots and this was contributed by about a dozen different companies, starring only A-list actors. This alone sent the cost of the movie production spiraling higher. There were also some reshoots carried out.
But what is more important is that Avengers: Endgame stood as the grossing film of all time, with a huge sum of $2.8 billion going straight into the pocket of the producers. Well, what do you say of a movie directed by Cameron, the expert on expensive moviemaking?
The cost of shooting the most expensive movies in the world is out of the ordinary. However, chances are you still recoup everything effortlessly. If you are dreaming of making your own movies, don’t focus more on the cost, make sure every penny you spent was worth it. Then, get set to reap more than you bargained at the box office.
- mentalfloss.com – The 10 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made
- screenrant.com – 10 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made
- uk.movies.yahoo.com – The most expensive movies ever made