These are the most expensive movies ever made. Many of the high costs can be explained by the use of special effects like CGI animation and high-resolution IMAX cameras. But you must also take into account A-List salaries, especially with multi-film series like Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. Would you believe that Daniel Radcliffe was paid $50 million for the last two HP films? Click through and let us know your thoughts/comments on movie costs below.
10. The Dark Knight Rises – $230 Million
The 2012 film starring Christian Bale reportedly cost so much to make because of the equipment its director Christopher Nolan preferred to use. The entire movie was filmed using IMAX cameras, the highest-resolution cameras in the world. The on-location filming across countries like the UK, USA, Italy and India also added to the film’s high budget.
9. Avatar – $237 Million
James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi film had such a high budget because the production team had to invent a load of new 3D technology to actually be able to film the way Cameron wanted to. The 3D cameras and other equipment used for the movie had never been used before, and so had to be built from scratch. Some rumors report that the blockbuster cost $500 million to make and that the production team roped private equity partners into paying for 60 percent of the movie’s budget, but that rumor has never been confirmed.
7. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – $250 Million
The budget hike for the sixth Harry Potter film, which was equal to the combined budget of Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2, was reportedly due to some of the main casts’ contracts coming up for renegotiation. Radcliffe was paid $25 million for the film, while Watson and Grint both took home $10 million. The amount of CGI animation used throughout the movie, as well as the fact that the final inferi scenes took months to make, also attributed to the high cost.
7. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – $250 MillionHobbit trilogy reportedly cost three times the amount the Lord of the Rings series did. The high cost can be explained by the fact that the final film boasts a heavy amount of visual effects, elaborate costumes, as well as an expansive cast. It was also shot in 48 frames per second and in 3D. Warner Bros even set up a subsidiary company in New Zealand to produce The Hobbit movies.
6. Spider-Man 3 – $258 Million
It was reported that the movie’s talent demanded a very large percentage of the budget, with a director like Sami Raimi, Tobey Maguire as the lead actor and big name producer, Laura Ziskin. The studio reportedly had to renegotiate with Raimi, the writers, the editors and the special effects coordinators for the third installment. Also, the CGI studio that they used received an increase in pay due to the success of the first two films.
5. Tangled – $260 Million
The 2010 animated 3D film, loosely based on the German fairytale of Rapunzel, featured the voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. Tangled was so expensive to make because it took a whooping six years to develop, as directors dropped in and out of the project. The concept was also constantly re-worked, with a greater focus on the male love interest, Flynn, to ensure the film appealed more to male audiences than previous Disney movies did.
4. John Carter – $263.7 Million
The underwhelming sci-fi fantasy flick based on A Princess of Mars would have needed to gross more than $600 million to break even, inclusive of marketing costs. Production problems allegedly caused the director, Andrew Stanton, to re-shoot much of the movie twice, leading to the budget spiraling out of control.
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $279.9 Million
The 2015 film is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and is the eleventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It scored the second-biggest box office opening in history, although it cost nearly $300 million to make. The film’s expansive cast of A-lister stars like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle and Jeremy Renner explain the movie’s high cost, as well as its use of 3D IMAX cameras. The high cost can also be explained by the fact that shooting took place all over the world, primarily in the UK, but also in Africa, New York, Italy, South Korea and Bangladesh.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – $300 Million
The third installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean series was at one time the most expensive movie ever made, before the fourth film was released in 2011. But luckily this film also managed to net three times its production cost in worldwide gross revenue. The film’s use of special effects, elaborate costuming, as well as Johnny Depp’s astonishing $55 million salary make it the second most expensive film of all time.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $378.5 Million
The 2011 film is the fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series. It was the first film in the series to be released in the Disney Digital 3-D and IMAX 3D formats, only adding to its production cost. Principal photography rolled for 106 days between June and November 2010, with locations in Hawaii, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, and California. Filming employed 3D cameras similar to those used in the production of the 2009 film Avatar, and ten companies were involved with the film’s visual effects. These production components make it the most expensive movie of all time to make, so we can’t imagine what the fifth movie will cost!
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