Over the past ten years, movies have become more expensive than ever before, with the priciest one, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, costing Disney $300 million to produce in 2007.
In Hollywood, Top notch actor? $10 million. Visual effects team? $25 million, shooting in 3D? $15 million. Creating a film that brings viewers into another world? Not exactly priceless.
Cleopatra, which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, infamously almost caused 20th Century Fox to go into bankruptcy at its 1963 price tag of $31 million. In 2016, it would have cost a steep $241 million—eye-watering but not implausible in Hollywood today.
When it comes to striking the perfect balance, Avatar had the kind of box office success that studios dream of. The James Cameron showpiece was expensive—$237 million—thanks to stereoscopic film-making, a 3D version and motion capture animation. But it ended up grossing $2.8 billion worldwide.
Here we present the list of the most expensive movies:
#7 – Waterworld
Inflation-adjusted budget: $273,445,538
#6 – John Carter
Inflation-adjusted budget: $273,506,313
#5 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Inflation-adjusted budget: $277,495,257
#4 – Tangled
Inflation-adjusted budget: $283,937,704
#3 – Spider-Man 3
Inflation-adjusted budget: $296,312,643
#2 – Titanic
Inflation-adjusted budget: $296,737,695
#1 – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Inflation-adjusted budget: $344,549,585
Still, many of the highest-grossing films do not feature on our list of the most expensive films ever made. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a box office behemoth grossing $2.06 billion, but cost “only” $200 million to produce. Jurassic World grossed $1.67 billion on a production budget of $150 million.