It’s mind-boggling how much money goes into Hollywood franchise films. Between the multi-million-dollar wages of the actors and the salaries of hundreds of staff members to post-production and marketing, the budgets for certain films surely make you realize how little we, as an audience, are in contrast to the film industry’s titans. It’s easy to anticipate which series and movies will appear on a list of the most costly movies ever filmed, but the particular statistics for each film are likely to make you blink again.
Of course, just because a film has a large budget does not guarantee that it will generate a good profit or that it will be a well-crafted and enjoyable tale. Disney, for example, invests millions in every one of its initiatives, yet the major studio nevertheless has box office failures from time to time. Another fantastic example of this occurrence is Transformers: The Last Knight, which managed to lose more than $100 million on a budget of over $216 million, when everything was said and done, the film debuted at a franchise low of $69.1 million. Without further ado, here are the most costly films ever created.
10. Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice — $263M
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice cost more than $263 million to produce, yet no one knows if it fared well or fell short of expectations. According to Forbes, the picture made 3.5x its budget in theaters alone, although its success could only be witnessed in the first weekend. Some claim that the film is really rather good, particularly applauding Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill’s acting performances, while others criticize its speed and storyline. Despite what you may believe, one thing the film accomplishes effectively is conveying how terrible it could be to be in the shoes of a weak person during superhuman combat.
9. John Carter — $264M
John Carter is one of the few films that bears two diametrically opposed titles: it’s one of the most costly films ever made, but it’s also one of the largest box office flops (though its lead actor Taylor Kitsch would disagree). The sci-fi epic had a budget of more than $264 million but only made $73 million domestically. Even Disney did not anticipate this film to be such a fiasco, since they intended to build a series out of it.
8. Star Wars: Episode IX — $275M
While being the lowest-earning film of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker had a net profit of $300 million and became one of the biggest grossing films of 2019, despite spending more than $275 million on production and special effects. One of the things that Rise of Skywalker accomplished brilliantly was to juxtapose Force healing with its dark side equivalent.
7. Solo: A Star Wars Story — $275M
According to Vanity Fair, Solo: A Star Wars Story, the second Star Wars film centering on the character of Han Solo, was the franchise’s first box office flop. The producers spent $275 million on the film, but it only earned $393.2 million worldwide. Solo: A Star Wars Story is likely the first film in the franchise in which each spin-off explores a new genre. Despite the fact that it stars huge names like Emilia Clarke and Alden Ehrenreich, this film does not have a dedicated following.
6. Justice League — $300M
We’ve seen over and again that a large budget has little to do with a film’s likelihood of becoming a global success. The first Justice League film from 2017 cost over $300 million to produce, yet it was a box office flop, leading to Warner Bros.’ demise. The crowd and reviewers were so disappointed that Zack Snyder agreed to broadcast his original version of the film on HBO Max in 2021. It went on to become the year’s fourth most-streamed film.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean : At World’s End (2007) — $300M
On the contrary, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End demonstrates that it is occasionally worthwhile to take the risk of investing $300 million in a film. With almost $960 million in box office receipts, the third chapter of the series became the biggest earning film of 2007. The film is about Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) always battling for his ship while accepting his destiny, as well as Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) and Will’s (Orlando Bloom) windswept romance. What’s not to love about this?
4. Avengers: Infinity War — $316M
Let’s be honest: when has an Avenger film failed to live up to its billing, particularly in terms of box office? The $316 million investment surely paid off, as Infinity War became the first superhero film to make more than $2 billion globally. Despite popular belief that superhero movies are an overrated genre and that superhero movie weariness is on the rise, the data show otherwise.
3. Avengers: Endgame — $350M
The excitement for Avengers: Endgame, the film that will finish the Infinity Saga plot, was palpable. It’s only logical for the stats to back this up. The film made $2.798 billion worldwide despite a $350 million budget. If you thought the achievements of Infinity War were amazing, Endgame topped them by becoming the highest-grossing film of all time from July 2019 to March 2021. Whether you think the Avengers made things immensely worse by reversing the Blip or you adore the plot, the statistics remain constant.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $386M
Avengers: Age Of Ultron, at a budget of nearly $386 million, is the second most costly film ever filmed. It’s no wonder that the makers need such a large budget, given the extraordinary effects and seven different states as filming sites. However, as has typically been the case with the MCU series, it made up for it by being the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2015. The second Avengers film sparked fresh debates over Tony’s responsibilities, Hawkeye’s character, and a new member of the team in the shape of Wanda Maximoff.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides — $422M
Last but not least, there’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the most costly film ever filmed. The only film with a budget over $400 million, with a $422 million budget. The four separate states utilized as filming sites, as well as the 3D cameras used in the filming process, comparable to those used in Avatar, were undoubtedly the causes for such a large number. Whether you love it or despise it as the end of the franchise, it was the third highest-grossing picture of 2011.