Special effects, advanced filming technology, on-location filming and Hollywood’s leading men and women don’t come cheap. The competitive nature of the movie industry has filmmakers striving to make the next blockbuster even bigger and better than the one before. This has led to some extreme budgets for films in recent years – some of which have still (surprisingly) made a profit, and others that were complete flops! Check out our list of the Top 10 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made:
#10: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $225 Million
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” was the sequel to Disney’s massive hit “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl”. After seeing how much money they made off the original, it only made sense to double down on the sequel. With tons of special effects and some of Hollywood’s elite including Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly, Disney knew this film would cost a lot, but they also expected to rake in a huge profit. Their bet paid off, as “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” was the first film in history to reach $1 Billion through box offices worldwide.
#9: The Dark Knight Rises – $230 Million
The 3rd and final installment in the new Batman trilogy was a massive hit. The Dark Knight Rises featured Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy and a host of other Hollywood regulars that don’t come cheap. Even at a cost of $230 million, the film was a box office success. The filmmakers and audience alike weren’t surprised at the success – the first 2 installments in the Batman trilogy were also universally acclaimed by critics and in terms of box office earnings.
#8: Man of Steel – $220 Million
In 2006, the Superman series was revived with “Superman Returns”. Kevin Spacey, Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth didn’t give the fans enough of what they wanted, so in 2013 the next installment in the series featured a whole new cast. That’s where the $220 million “Man of Steel” comes in. With a lesser-known actor, Henry Cavill, playing superman in “Man of Steel”, the reviews for the film were mixed from audience and critics alike. Despite the mixed reviews, the film still brought in over $670 million worldwide, making it a very profitable venture.
#7: Avatar – $240 Million
If you’ve seen James Cameron’s “Avatar” you can’t help but realize just how much time and money went into creating the world he sets out to depict. With stunning visuals and special effects, it’s no surprise this film cost over $240 Million to make. Even with the success of “Titanic”, “Avatar” was still James Cameron’s biggest hit – in fact, in bringing in $2.78 Billion worldwide, it was the highest-grossing film of all time!
#6: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – $225 Million
“The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” is a sequel to the first Chronicles of Narnia film, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”. Although the first film was not a massive success, it did well enough that the filmmakers decided to do a sequel. Unfortunately, reviews from audiences and critics alike were even worse than they were for the first installment. Despite this, the film still made nearly $500 Million worldwide.
#5: Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince – $250 Million
There were 8 films in the Harry Potter Series, but “Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince” ended up being the most costly with a budget of $250 Million. Despite the worldwide success of the Harry Potter film franchise, this is the only film in the franchise that cracks the top 10 list. In grossing almost $1 Billion worldwide, it was a smashing success at the box office. In terms of reviews, it’s not considered the best in the series, only the most expensive.
#4: John Carter – $250 Million
In 1930, Disney was slated to make an animated film called “John Carter of Mars”, but decided to put it on the shelf – for over 80 years! In 2012, they released “John Carter” – a movie that depicts a military captain inexplicably being transported to Mars to lead an epic battle. Despite a massive $250 million budget, “John Carter” ended up being a complete bust at the box office. It grossed just $73 Million in the US and $211 Million worldwide. That puts it close to breaking even, but don’t expect a sequel anytime soon.
#3: Tangled – $258 Million
The 2010 animated film “Tangled” cost Disney $258 Million to make. With a massive audience of children and the power of Disney to capture their attention, it’s no surprise a lot of money was put into making “Tangled”. It made nearly $600 Million at box offices worldwide and paved the way for an even bigger hit – Disney’s 2013 animated film, “Frozen”.
#2: Spiderman 3 – $260 Million
In 2007, Tobey Maguire reprised his role for the 3rd time as Spiderman in “Spiderman 3”. The 3rd installment in the series was disappointing, to say the least; especially given how well the first 2 were received by critics and audiences alike. Despite disappointing reviews, there was enough excitement surrounding the films release that moviegoers went to see it anyway. The film ended up taking in $890 Million worldwide, making for a hefty profit on a $260 Million budget.
#1: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – $310 Million
In the #1 position for most expensive movie of all time, we have “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”, the 2nd “Pirates” film to crack our top 10 list. After 2 massive hits, the fans were on the edge of their seats for the release of the 3rd film in the “Pirates” series. However, most of the audience was disappointed with what they saw. Out of the 3 films in the series, this was the worst received. And despite all that, it still brought in $930 Million!