Top 10 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Does a high production budget automatically equal high box office grossing and critical accolades? As set by the example of the flop (according to an overwhelming number of critics) that was Batman V Superman, no. Here are the most expensive movies ever made and we’ll leave it to your judgment to determine whether they paid off or not.

#10 The Avengers (2012) – $220 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture

Marvel brought the superhero team onto the big screens for what was going to become a staple flick for the genre and the result of millions, millions, and millions of dollars. Was it worth it? Critics and fans are all frantically nodding their heads.

#9 The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – $230 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The Dark Knight was a commercial and critical success, so it doesn’t come off as a wonder that Christopher Nolan wanted to deliver and not betray the high expectations surrounding The Dark Knight Rises. As a result, the budget for the sequel was pumped up to $230 million. It couldn’t overshadow the masterpiece that was its prequel, but it definitely was up there.

#8 Avatar (2009) – $237 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Avatar is one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, as well as one of the most expensive. In a time when we didn’t have every movie being released in 3D, the James Cameron flick aimed to introduce 3D cinematography like never before. It wanted to visually impress and, in order to do that, a really big budget was required.

#7 Spectre (2015) – $245 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

The latest installment in the saga of James Bond was arguably more forgettable than titles of the likes of Casino Royale or its much acclaimed Skyfall. But if managed to surpass its prequels in one way, it was through the budget allocated to its production.

#6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) – $250 million*

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

*Tied with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

What all these three movies have in common is a colossal production budget. Half-Blood Prince was one of the fortunate results of this copious amount of money, as Batman V Superman was a general mess and Battle of the Five Armies received mixed reviews.

#5 Spider-Man 3 (2007) – $258 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was a rollercoaster of emotion. The first one was alright, the second one is considered to be one of the best superhero movies of all time, and the third one is better forgotten altogether. Spider-Man 3 had a lot of money and high expectations pumped into it, but it seems that it cracked under all that pressure.

#4 Tangled (2010) – $260 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Animated movies cost money, too! Tangled didn’t launch a merchandising craze like Frozen did, but it pretty much established the new era of 3D animations for Disney. In order to polish the style as best as they could, producers invested no less than $260 million in its creation.

#3 John Carter (2012) – $263.7 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Does anyone really remember John Carter for the plot? No, but it’s likely that they do because of the visuals. John Carter had a lot of potential and it was downright terrible, but it surely could have done better. What we can’t deny is that they really went all out to establish that alien setting with the aid of its impressive budget.

#2 Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – $279.9 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Now that Marvel was certain that its superhero team-up was a success, they could afford to take financial risks and rain hundreds of millions of dollars over its production. The audience consensus points out that this didn’t necessarily result in a better film, but at least it was visually appealing.

#1 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) – $310 million

Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

For the epic conclusion of the epic pirate tale, Disney broke the $300 million barrier and went all out with the production of the third movie. It only made sense, as there was no real way to properly depict krakens, undead pirates, and epic sea battles. How many times are we allowed to say “epic?”

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