Top 10 Most Expensive Films Ever Made

We’ve probably watched not only a dozen of amazing movies. We may wonder how Titanic shrinks in our eyes or how to enter the world of Avatar or maybe have a spell duel with Harry Potter. Those extraordinary movies don’t only come with great actors but also with very expensive production that makes us all enter the world of unknown.

Here are the top 10 most expensive films of all time that are adjusted for inflation using the United States Consumer Price Index taking the original budget estimated as the basis.

10. JOHN CARTER ($250,000,000)

John Carter

First in the list is a 2012 film ‘John Carter’, a science fiction film from the 11-volume novel of Edgar Rice Burroughs, ‘Barsoom’ and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Filming began November 2009 and released on March 2012, making it a 3-year movie in the making. This film features planet Mars as the setting with 12-foot tall barbarians, making it cost dollars. Though not that embraced internationally it has its own way of making it into the box office, earning $282,778,100 an estimated $32,000,000 profit to its $250,000,000 budget.

9. AVATAR ($257,000,000)

Another science fiction film on the list is Avatar, a film set in 22nd century, a hundred year away from us and a set in Pandora, a lush habitable moon of gas giant in Alpha Centauri star system. This needs no much introduction because it sure does hit the viewers and became the highest grossing film of all time earning $2,782,275,172. It sure worth the million spent on production not only for the billion earnings but also for the numerous awards given to it. The productions includes very detailed work from the language used, the ecosystem used to make it realistic and futuristic, animations, visual effects, actors and promotions. The making of Avatar was supposed to be on year 1996 by James Cameron the same man behind Titanic, unfortunately the technology that time was not huge enough to equip his idea on how to make Avatar. The real production began on 2006 and was released on December 2009.


most expensive film pirates of the caribbean

Dead Man’s Chest, an American adventure fantasy is the second film of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and released in 2006. Starred by Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley made it to a no wonder huge budgeted film. It is also packed with animation by WaltDisney Pictures production to plunge us again into the world of sword fights and savvy pirates. Two ships were built; The Black Pearl and The Flying Dutchman, just for this film only. Like any other Pirates’ series, this is a certified top grosser and award bagger film.

7. WATERWORLD ($262,000,000)


Produced, directed and acted by Kevin Costner; Waterworld, a 1995 post-apocalyptic science fiction film bombed the entertainment world with a setting 500 years ahead of us. The film visualized the world when the polar ice caps have completely melted and the sea level has risen up that covered nearly all the land. It has a total domestic cost of $88,246,220 and was considered to be the most expensive movie failure up that date. But made a turn back when video sales was released.

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince($271,000,000)


Probably almost everyone knows Harry Potter and his spells, or even J.K. Rowling, the very person capable of putting an addicting spell on us, that even adults were hooked up with this. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the sixth in the film series but I’ll bet neither of us were tired of anticipating what will be in the next film. This movie made it to the 8th top grossing movie of all time for only five days, with a breaking gross of $394 million. It was critically acclaimed and has given several of awards for the story, production, acting, direction and the whole of it but of course, it wouldn’t be practical to spend a lot for nothing. Harry Potter surely made everyone pleased.

5. Tangled ($277,000,000)


Animated film is one with the most expensive and work loaded production: film that should be enriched with a great story and quality for it to worth the time and money. Tangled is a version of the old tale that we’re born to love, Rapunzel. Re-telling Rapunzel with a dose of 3D animation and musical approach is a dazzler. It was six years and was released in 2010. It was an international success for the movie, though there are claims that since it is a heroine-movie, they will lose the audience of little boys. But Disney have their own way of making impossible possible just like animation.

4. Spider-Man 3($289,000,000)

Spiderman 3

Released in 2007, Spiderman 3 is the last film in the sequel and rebooted with ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ in 2012. It topped the first two spider-man movies, and it is the twenty-fourth highest-grossing film worldwide. This famous marvel fictional character has been a favorite to many and the film’s gross earnings says it all. But to somewhat reason the director decided to leave what we can consider one of marvel’s legacies.

3. Titanic ($290,000,000)


If you are into epic romantic disaster film, this movie is one of the favorites of many. Inspired by a true story of the shipwreck of one of the largest ship ever made plus a love story of two fictional characters, James Cameron has made no mistake on producing and directing the highest grossing of all time for twelve straight years only to be beaten by the movie he also produced which is the Avatar. But to many, nothing will beat a story of true love and sacrifice. It runs for 194 minutes or 3 hours and 14 minutes. Released in theaters in 1997 and had a 3D released in 2012 to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the ship.

2. & 1. Cleopatra ($330,000,000- 380,000,000)


Maybe it doesn’t come to our imagination that one of the biggest budget films would come from the 60’s. Despite being a box office failure, to critics and other audiences, Elizabeth Taylor had made a big leap of her acting skills with this movie, and the academy awards agreed on that, garnering them 4 awards. The expensive cost of this movie was due to a twice construction of sets, costumes and props for the relocation of setting. Elizabeth Taylor was paid $7,000,000 equivalent to 2012 $44,000,000. This epic drama film has nearly bankrupt 20th Century Fox but rewarded them with numerous acting awards.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($336,000,000)

Pirates of the Caribbean-At worlds end

Shot back to back with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, both films was a success and has been two of the most expensive films ever made. No one would argue, because with just the visual effects, there will be already an excessive evidence. It is the third highest grossing among all pirates series film.

Regardless of how expensive a movie is, it is always the actors that will bring judgment how well a movie goes. But as years and technology evolve, movie audiences will be dependent on how much they spent on visuals and animation, a thing that can’t be denied and will be embraced thoroughly.

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