Top 10 Most Expensive Films Ever Made

Mega budget movies have become very common over the past few years. Film industry is an enormous business and more and more film-makers seem to have realized that the costlier a movie, the more chances it has of performing well at the box office. Expensive movie sets, A-list actors, exotic locations, special effects are few ingredients of a commercially successful movie. Undoubtedly, all these factors make the film more promising but they also increase the production cost tremendously.

Here are the top 10 most expensive films ever made. All these movies have a budget of over $200 million. While most of them did well, few failed to please the audience and bombed at the box office.

10. Avatar (2009)

Budget: $237 million

Although it turned out to be less expensive than expected, Avatar still had a massive budget, about $237 million (approx.). The story of the movie revolves around Jack Sully, a paralyzed former marine who is sent on a corporate mission to planet Pandora which is inhibited by highly evolved blue beings known as Na’vi. However, continuing his mission becomes difficult for Jack as his bond with Pandora grows stronger. New Motion capture filming techniques, new system for lighting huge areas, an improved method to capture facial expressions are few innovations used in filming Avatar. Director James Cameron had waited for years for filming technology to get advance enough for the movie. The wait paid-off. Avatar is one of the most successful movies of all time. It collected over $2,787,965,087.

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Budget: $250 million

Starring superstars like Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, Avengers: Age of Ultron is number nine on the list of most expensive movies ever made. The mighty heroes come together to protect the earth once again. Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk and some new forces must rescue the world from the powerful Ultron. The $250 million dollar (approximately) film collected more than 1.400 billion dollars worldwide.

8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Budget: $250 million

The Hobbit: The battle of the five armies, the third part of the installment, concludes the adventures of Bilbo, Thorin and the Company of Dwarves. Bilbo and the company face a number of combatants. Sauron sends legions of orcs to attack Lonely Mountain. The races of Elves, Men and Dwarves must come together or be destroyed! The movie had a budget of $250 million. The Hobbit trilogy proved to be a massive hit and made around $806 million at the box office.

7. Spectre (2015)

Budget: $250 million

Another mega-budget movie which came in the year 2015! The costliest Bond movie ever made, Daniel Craig starrer Spectre had a budget of around $250 million. A cryptic message leads Bond on a new adventure and takes him to Mexico City and Rome. He uncovers the existence of SPECTRE, a sinister organization. M has to work hard to keep the secret service alive as Bond gets closer and closer to the truth behind Spectre. The movie has been directed by Sam Mendes and also stars Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci and Christoph Waltz.

6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

Budget: $250 million


In his sixth year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Harry Potter discovers more about the infamous lord Voldemort and his past. He finds an old book belonging to “Half-Blood Prince” and the adventure begins. One of the major reason reasons why this movie is the most expensive in the series is because “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, which had a similar budget, was split into two parts. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was loved by the fans and critics alike. It took $250 million to make the movie which went on to earn $930 million worldwide.

5. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Budget: $258 million

The third installment of the popular Spider-Man series, starring Toby Maguire, had a budget of a whopping $258 million. In this part, the beloved superhero is forced to face his dark side. He must overcome the inner turmoil he is going through in order to fight the villains-Sandman and Venom. Directed by Siam Raimi, the movie was shot in Cleveland, New York City and Los Angeles. Although Spider- Man 3 failed to impress the fans or critics, it managed to collect $890 million worldwide.

4. Tangled (2010)

Budget: $260 million

With a budget of $260 million, Disney’s musical comedy, Tangled is the fourth most expensive movie of all time. The story is loosely based on “Rapunzel” by the Brothers Grimm. Perhaps the most expensive animated movie ever made, Tangled is the story of Rapunzel, who has amazingly long and magical hair. Voiced by Mandy Moore, Rapunzel represents the new age Disney princesses who are bold, fierce and independent. The movie is about love, family, magic and self-discovery. Tangled did really well at the box office and managed to collect about $590 million worldwide. It won a Grammy for the song “I See the Light.”

3. John Carter (2012)

Budget: $260 million


Even though it had an enormous budget of over $260 million, John Carter was a big disappointment. Based on sci-fi classic, “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burrough, the movie is about a Civil War vet who is transported to Barsoom (Mars) and the adventures which await him there. The movie had to go through many hurdles before its release. It took longer than expected to finish the filming. Many scenes were reshot and a number of visual effects were added after the production. However the movie bombed at the box office collecting around $284 million only.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

Budget: $300 million

The third installment of the extremely successful franchise, “At World’s End” starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly and Geoffrey Rush, had a budget of around $300 million. In this part of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner and Captain Barbossa join forces to rescue captain Jack Sparrow. They must call the Pirate Lords from all around the world to face an array of dangerous enemies including Lord Cutler Beckett, Davi Jones and the East India Company. Directed by Gore Verbinski, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” performed pretty well worldwide earning over $936 million.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Budget: $400 million

At the first position, we have the fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean series. With a budget of over $400 million, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the most expensive movie ever made. In the movie, Captain Jack Sparrow is on a quest to find the fountain of youth and has to face Barbossa and Blackbeard who are searching for it as well. Also, a mysterious woman from Jack’s past makes a comeback in his life. The movie did pretty well earning over one billion dollars.

Most of these movies have performed well, grossing millions and millions worldwide. Although some of them, including Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Spiderman 3, fell short of the expectations of the fans and critics, they managed to do well financially.

Related posts: