The production of Hollywood movies can be a very expensive venture. Due to very secretive accounting (including the actors wages) it’s very hard to identify how much it will take to make a great movie. Obviously, the more top tier actors you have, the more expensive film is going to be, nevertheless special effects and filming in multiple locations will cost big bucks.
John Carter (2012)
Budget: $264 million
Current: $288 million
While sci-fi films are usually well-received, John Carter wasn’t one of them. Disney invested a lot of money in an interesting story while the film adaptation didn’t receive worldwide fame. Good visuals and action couldn’t withhold criticism against poor character development and the plot.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Budget: $285 million
Current: $292 million
Based on the book from J.K.Rowling, this film was bound to be a success as fans around the world were drawn to it. As the film was set in multiple places with new characters, producers had to invest to make it even better than the book. CGI was a huge part of the budget as you cannot display magical world with no magic in it!
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Budget: $365 million
Current: $386 million
An unbelievable star cast and top level film production made it the second most expensive film produced at the time. Post-productions cost were heavy as Marvel wanted to achieve the realism and every single detail was important to fit the universe.
Budget: $260 million
Current: $299 million
While cartoons don’t strike you as too expensive to make, there are many details that you might miss. It took 6 years to make this animated film and the level of CGI and painting-like rendering have made it the most expensive cartoon ever made. You will be surprised but Rapunzel’s hair was the main issue as the technology couldn’t make it move the way producers wanted.
Justice League (2017)
Budget: $300 million
Current 307 million
DC studios can produce expensive films as well. With extended cast from multiple DC films, extensive CGI and action scenes, this film still didn’t manage to break even. The cost of production was barely covered by the box office even though actors’ performance was highly praised. Maybe next time, DC.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Budget: $258 million
Current $312 million
The Spider-Man film series have been rebooted several times with new directors taking charge. While there are newer films coming out, Raimi’s Spider-man still has its place in the Marvel universe. Visual effects and costume production was large chunk of the production costs. The fight scenes in the dark were a big challenge but in the end the film was the most successful out of the trilogy.
Budget: $200 million
Current $312 million
The first film to ever reach a billion-dollar mark in box office, Titanic was a huge success. James Cameron’s creation required a lot of resources to replicate the luxury of the original ship and consultants to make sure actors follow the manners from their class and timeline. It was totally worth it.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Budget: $316 million
Current: $316 million
Marvel brings together the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos. You can imagine that with this double film cast and visual effects in action scenes, the film was very expensive to make. At the same time, it has become the first superhero movie to gross the $2 billion mark in box office. Well done, superheroes!
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
Budget: $300 million
Current: $362 million
Pirates of the Caribbean film series proved to be very successful right from the very first film. As people fell in love with Captain Jack Sparrow they were looking forward to seeing their favourite actors in a new exciting story. While critics thought film was ok, most of the viewers really enjoyed it and the box office almost hit a billion.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Budget: $379 million
Current: $422 million
At World’s End was followed by On Stranger Tides a couple years later and the production cost a fortune again. The fourth film wasn’t as impressive as expected but fans of the series enjoyed it a lot and the film was very successful in the box office.