Every one of us loves to see a movie at the big theatre with our favorite soft drink and popcorn. The story unfolds gradually, and our heartbeats get mingled with it intricately.
The next 2 – 3 hours are something out of this world when we forget the outer world and become an integral part of this make-believe one. Since the last one hundred years, movies have been the best visual medium to relax and enjoy.
They have always broken the barriers of language and geographical boundaries to create a fan base of their own. Filmmakers have started making movies for international audiences and in the hope of fulfilling their cinematic dreams come true.
Making movies is a tough job because it takes tons of money for cast, crew, and sets. Some movies adhere to a particular budget, but some go all out of the way and spend astronomical amounts in the hope of making a blockbuster and retrieving the amount easily enough.
Massive changes have taken place, and everyone wants to view something different. This has led to the new techniques and advanced effects that simply increase the budget a great deal.
There are also other factors involved that can skyrocket the budget to unimaginable sums. Production houses are now willing to spend big bucks to create something different.
The hope of lucrative returns prompts them to create the most expensive movies of all times. With few notable exceptions, big-budget movies have done well at the box office and recovered the original sum spent easily enough.
Table of Contents
#1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
At an estimated budget of 379 million US dollars Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has been declared the most expensive movies of all times.
The movie was made by the famous house Disney who did not hesitate to spend astronomical figures in order to capture the essence of the earlier versions of the movie.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was shot with a 3D camera in places like United Kingdom, California, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. The film was released in the year 2011 and opened to mixed reviews.
It went on to earn more than 1 billion US dollars at the box office easily getting back its returns and managing a nice and tidy profit on the way.
The makers were so happy with the whole series that they paid their lead cast Johnny Depp an amount of 55.5 million dollars for his portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in this installment.
#2. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron was a massive hit released in the year 2015. This was a superhero film based on a team called Avengers. No one could have predicted the awesome response the movie managed to garner.
At 365 US million dollars, it was one of the most expensive movies ever made and managed to rake an estimated 1.4 billion gross profit at the box office.
Avengers: Age of Ultron was distributed by Disney studios and produced by Marvel Studios. It was the eleventh in the series of Marvel Cinematic Universe and was shot extensively in places like Italy, South Africa, Bangladesh, and Korea.
The movie was in the news even before its release because several lead actors threatened to boycott in case their payments and related demands were not met on time.
#3. Avengers: End Game
The sequel to one of the popular and most expensive movies in the world proved a long-awaited wait. Avengers: End Game was another installment of Marvel Cinematic Universe movie and sequel to Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.
It was released in the year 2019, April and went on to break all existing records. At a cool 356 million dollars it was one of the most expensive movies but the amount it raked surpassed its costing in few days only.
Distributed and produced by Disney studios and Marvel studios respectively, Avengers: End Game raked up billions as profit. It is a movie about how the superheroes come together to save the universe from destruction and evil forces.
#4. Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: infinity war was released in the year 2018 and was the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It was the sequel to Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. As usual, it was distributed and produced by Disney studios and Marvel studios respectively and directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. With a budget of 316 million US dollars, it became one of the most expensive movies in the world.
Avengers: Infinity War garnered a cool 2.048 US million dollars at the box-office and became one of the highest grosser of all times. The movie had an ensemble cast that lived up to their reputation and in fact, went a step up in the ladder in terms of fame amongst their fan base.
Infinity War was hailed by both critics and audiences alike for its magnificent visual effects, action sequence, performances, and storyline.
#5. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Extravagant sets, magnificent surroundings, and jaw-dropping scenes helped Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End to become a fan as well as critic favorite.
Huge sets were designed to create the exact replicas of the 18th century and the special effects which took five months for completion and awesome battle sequences made it all up when it managed to garner nearly 963 million US dollars at the box office.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At world’s End Was released in the year 2007 and had an estimated budget of 300 million US dollars. It was an epic fantasy with Captain Jack Sparrow at the helm of his ship Black Pearl.
The American film was the third installment of the hit series and at that time of the most expensive movies. Released by Walt Disney Pictures, it became one of their highest grosser of all times and was nominated for several awards.
#6. Justice League
With a budget of 300 million US dollars Justice League is tied up with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End as the most expensive movie to be made in the world at that time.
It is the fifth installment of the DCEU or DC Extended Universe. The American movie was released in the year 2017 and was distributed by Warner Bros Pictures.
Justice League was another superhero film and was based on a team of superheroes known as Justice League. The ensemble cast was appreciated, but the overall movie could not manage to hold on to its reputation.
Several aspects of the movie were criticized because of its inconsistency. The movie managed to earn only 657.9 million US dollars and needed another 93 million to break even.
#7. Solo: A Star Wars Story
Solo: A Wars Story was released in the year 2018 and was eagerly awaited by the audiences who were Star Wars fan. At 275 million US dollars, it was one of the most expensive films in the world.
But the movie could not garner up the magic of its previous installments. It needed 550 million US dollars to break even but could manage to gross only 392 million US dollars.
Solo: A Wars Story was a space opera film and was based on a specific character, Hans Solo, and his journey. Distributed by Walt Disney Motion Pictures, the movie was praised for its music score, performances, actions and visuals but the sad fact was that the expectations of the fans were at its peak and it could not match with it. It was the first part of Star Wars that simply failed at the box office.
#8. John Carter
John Carter is an American action film that is associated with science fiction. Made with a budget of 264 million US dollars, it was one of the most expensive moves of its time and that too in the whole world.
The movie was based on A Princess of Mars, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
The makers threw everything they had behind this movie as it was considered one of the best storylines of its time. Moreover, these types of movies were garnering huge success and box-office collections at that time.
Unfortunately, it simply bombed at the box-office as there is no other word to describe the debacle and disaster that followed its release in the year 2012.
The worst thing was the negative publicity that followed its release and how the audiences did not even consider going to the theatre to watch it. Disney supposedly lost a cool 200 million US dollars in this movie.
#9. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at 263 million US dollars is one of the most expensive movies in the world. The American movie was based on superhero characters Superman and Batman of DC Comics. The high profile film was the second installment of DC Extended Universe and had an ensemble cast of high profile actors.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures in the year 2016. The film managed to break most of the box-office records and earned 873.6 million US dollars.
Although the movie was a hit in terms of the monetary collection, it was not a favorite of the critics who gave unfavorable reviews for its dark tone. This was a prime example of audiences being the master and decider of box-office collections and not the critics.
#10. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was actually the eighth installment of the main Star War franchise. It was released in the year 2017 and was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Made with a budget of 262 million US dollars the movie went on to earn 1.333 billion US dollars making it the most expensive movie as well as one of the highest grosser of its time.
The space opera film Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an epic and was created with an ensemble cast and high profile names like Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, and Carrie Fisher. Some of the cast members from the previous installment also joined the movie to give it credence.
It became the second-highest grosser of Star War franchise and earned immense praise and positive reviews for emotional scenes, action sequence, visual effects, and music.
Tangled is a prime example of money well spent. At a budget of 260 million US dollars, it was the costliest animation movie ever made.
The makers used the revolutionary technique to create something different that would look like a visual delight to the audiences. It was a 3D musical adventure movie about the character Rapunzel from a German fairy tale.
The most expensive movie Tangled was released in the year 2010 by its distributors Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It created history at the box-office and earned 591.8 million US dollars. It was nominated for several awards and managed to win the hearts of its audience on the way to success.
#12. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in the year 2015 and was the seventh episode of the original Star War Franchise. It is a space-opera movie that is considered one of the most expensive movies of its time at a budget of 259 US dollars.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It was one of the highest commercial successes that nobody could have anticipated. The most expensive movie managed to garner 2.06 billion US dollars at the box-office in national and international markets.
The film received critical acclaim, positive reviews and lots of praise for visual effects, musical score, acting, direction, and screenplay. The movie went on to receive several nominations at numerous award ceremonies along with the award for Best Special Visual Effects at the 69th British Academy Film Awards.
#13. Spider-Man 3
With an estimated 258 million US dollars of budget Spider-Man, three was one of the most expensive movies in the world. It was released in the year 2007 and distributed by Columbia Pictures.
The American movie was based on a character of Marvel Comics. Spiderman has been one of the most popular fictional superheroes of the 21st century and a huge favorite amongst his fans.
Spider-Man 3 was released in the year 2007 and was the third installment in the Spider-Man trilogy. It was the most expensive movie of Spiderman ever made and went on to earn a cool 890.9 million US dollars.
Amazing graphics and visual effects along with the dark characters, helped Spiderman to gain immense success in the world.
#14. Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast was a musical fantasy distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It was made with a budget of 255 million US dollars and was one of the most expensive movies of all times.
The American romantic movie Beauty and the Beast was released in the year 2017. It was based on the fairy tale story of the same name. The movie was a huge box-office success with 1.264 billion US dollars of gross earnings. It was the 2nd highest grosser of the year 2017 and was nominated at numerous award ceremonies in several categories.
#15. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a fantasy film based on the book of the same name by J K Rowling. It was the sixth installments of the popular Harry Potter Franchise. Made with an estimated 250 US million dollars, it was one of the most expensive movies in the world.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released in the year 2009 and distributed by Warner Bros Pictures. It was the most expensive Harry Potter movies and was released simultaneously in s3veral places. The movie went on to create and break several box-office records of its own.
It was received positively by the audiences as well as the critics, who in itself was a miracle. It grossed 934.5 million US dollars at the box office and became a huge commercial success.
#16. Transformers: The Last Knight
At 239 million US dollars Transformers: The Last Knight is one of the most expensive movies of all times. It was released in the year 2017 and went on to earn 605.4 million US dollars. The American action movie was distributed by Paramount Pictures in IMAX 3D, 3D, and 2D.
Transformers: The Last Knight is a science fiction based on the Transformers toy-line. The most expensive movie is the fifth installment of the Transformer series and a sequel to its earlier part Age of Extinction released in the year 2014.
It could not manage to garner the anticipated success and proved a failure for its production house by losing an estimated 100 million dollars.
If you are looking for an epic movie, than Avatar is the one meant for you. This was a science fiction film set in the 22nd century. The American epic film was a masterpiece that was written directed, produced, and co-edited by the great man James Cameron himself.
Avatar was made with a budget of 237 million US dollars and achieved tremendous success by grossing 2.788 billion US dollars. The most expensive movie made extensive use of new filming techniques to create something unique and awesome. The movie managed to break several existing records. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards and managed to win three of them for Best Visual Effects, Director and Picture.
Filmmaking is a serious job and not for the fainthearted or the one with shallow pockets — the first thing besides a good script that a filmmaker need is a huge influx of cash.
If you are interested in creating a visual delight, you will automatically have to spend money because in this business the most common perception is that if you want to win big, you will have to spend big.
Yes, there are cases when the quality of the movie is inversely proportional to its worth, but the chances are that people have gone to the theatre to watch your movie and it has recovered its money.