Top 10 Most Expensive Movies of All Time
Top 10 Most Expensive Movies of All Time

A film’s production refers to the time at which it is created and shot. This stage involves crew members including the director, assistant directors, picture and sound editors, photographers, script supervisors, and of course the actors themselves working together to form the final feature. The distribution of a film sees the film enter its final stage where it is released and distributed to cinemas, with launch parties, premieres, and press releases organized to promote the production.

Key data on the global movie production and distribution industry shows that there were an estimated 739.55 thousand employees at approximately 57.94 thousand separate businesses in the movie production and distribution industry worldwide.

The quality of the cast, direction, and script can make or break a film at the box office. A film’s legacy can be measured in terms of how many awards it wins and the lasting impression it leaves on audiences, whether this is due to memorable quotes from the movie or props and costumes which later become iconic. Cinema's greatest fans will often pay above and beyond to get their hands on some of the film's most impressive props. Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from "The Seven Year Itch" sold for 4.6 million dollars. Other highly-priced souvenirs sold over the years include two of James Bond’s cars, the Delorean from "Back to the Future", two of Audrey Hepburn’s dresses, and Dorothy’s ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz".

Here are the top 10 most expensive movies ever made and why they cost so much:

What are the Most Expensive Movies of All Time?

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

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon, 2015)

3. Avengers: Endgame (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2019)

4. Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2018)

5. Justice League (Zack Snyder, 2017)

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Gore Verbinski, 2007)

7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Ron Howard, 2018)

8. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (J. J. Abrams, 2019)

9. John Carter (Andrew Stanton, 2012)

10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016)

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Top 10 Most Expensive Movies of All Time

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

Photo: whatsondisneyplus
Photo: whatsondisneyplus

Cost of production: $379 million

The most expensive production of all time was the fourth installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series – "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides", directed by Rob Marshall and starring Hollywood stars Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, and Geoffrey Rush among others. The movie was produced by Disney Studios and cost 379 million U.S. dollars to make.

Why? First, the movie was shot using expensive 3D cameras. Secondly, many of the scenes were shot at sea, which many major film productions can attest is exceptionally costly. Not only that, the franchise had been red hot since its inception so a huge budget was a calculated risk.

2. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon, 2015)

Photo: nghenhinvietnam
Photo: nghenhinvietnam

Cost of production: $365 million

Avengers is the second most expensive movie ever made that took almost $365 million to make. This is the most expensive movie from the house of Marvel Studios. Avengers: Age of Ultron is the sequel of the Avengers series that was released in the year 2015. The plot of the movie is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers.

The film made collections of a whopping $2.8 billion across the world in just 11 days that makes this movie the highest-grossing movie ever.

The film received thumbs up from the critics as well as the viewers. The gross collection of the film is more than $1.4 billion worldwide that making it the fifth-highest-grossing film of all time.

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3. Avengers: Endgame (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2019)

Photo: nld
Photo: nld

Cost of production: $356 million

The New York Times reported the "Infinity War" sequel budget to cost "roughly" $350 million. In April 2020, Deadline reported the budget a bit higher at $356 million. The Marvel Cinematic Universe's 22nd film features more than 30 major characters in the movie's final battle.

The film surpassed "Avatar" to become the highest-grossing movie in the world.

The film was described as a “culmination” of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies that had come before. That description was somewhat apt, but only because we knew absolutely nothing about Avengers: Endgame yet. As it turns out, Infinity War is really Thanos’ movie—it’s the story of a galactic villain who brings all the major heroes of the MCU to their knees… and wins. And it’s Infinity War that really makes Avengers: Endgame so satisfying because the latter film truly is the culmination event. It’s a genuine conclusion to the 22-film arc that precedes it and puts a “period” on the end of the sentence for Iron Man and Captain America (Black Widow, meanwhile, gets her own solo movie to go out on…). It’s also three hours long, three different movies in one, and the second-highest-grossing film in history. It’s a miracle of a thing, and this is the story of how it was made.

4. Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, 2018)

Photo: elleman
Photo: elleman

Cost of production: $325 million

Most reports put the cost of the 2018 film between $300 and $400 million.

In April 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported the film cost around $300 million to make. The following month, Deadline reported the budget at an estimated $316 million before adjusting the reported budget to $325 million in April 2019.

Both "Infinity War" and "Endgame" were filmed back-to-back with some scenes for the latter being filmed during the 2018 movie. The film not only became the highest-grossing movie of 2018 but is also the fifth highest-grossing film of all time.

Marvel Studios have got many actors together for this epic movie. All the fight scenes look realistic with the help of computer graphics that cost a lot of money. The worldwide gross collection of Infinity War touched over $2 billion.

5. Justice League (Zack Snyder, 2017)

Photo: cuongphim
Photo: cuongphim

Cost of production: $307 million

In 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported the budget for the film grew to about $300 million. Joss Whedon had stepped in to finish the film after director Zack Snyder stepped down following the death of his daughter. The film had already been rewritten to have a lighter tone. With Synder gone, "Justice League" underwent reshoots and a mandate that the film be under two hours.

Fans will finally get to see the version of the film Snyder intended to make. His version of the film will debut on HBO Max in 2021 with a completely new villain.

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6. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Gore Verbinski, 2007)

Photo: phimlearning
Photo: phimlearning

Cost of production: $300 million

At World’s End had all the usual suspects when it comes to big-budget tentpole features. There was extensive VFX as well as shooting on location. However, there was also the matter of rising star costs to pay for the likes of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom to star in the picture.

There was a huge jump in money spent from the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie to the third one. This film cost a whopping $300 million, which is $370 million adjusting for inflation. There must be people who love this film series, even if it doesn’t get as much attention as, say, the Marvel movies or Batman movies. “At World’s End,” a movie we don’t know anything about other than it exists, made nearly a billion dollars. Maybe these movies are loved overseas?

7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Ron Howard, 2018)

Photo: starwars
Photo: starwars

Cost of production: $275 million

Even though Solo might be the biggest flop movie from the house of Star Wars Franchise from a commercial point of view, it made it to the sixteenth place in our list of the world’s most expensive movies. Solo: A Star Wars Story made with a budget of $275 million was released in the year 2018 and grossed just $393 million in collections worldwide.

It may sound off to hear that a spinoff is technically the most expensive Star Wars movie ever made. However, the film had a tumultuous time behind the scenes. It switched directors partway through production and underwent extensive reshoots.

Solo was distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. In this movie that had multiple directors, there was an attempt to give the Star Wars character Han Solo more center stage.

8. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (J. J. Abrams, 2019)

Photo: snkrvn
Photo: snkrvn

Cost of production: $275 million

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the sequel of The Last Jedi movie that ranks 18th on our list made with a budget of $275 million. It is the final film of the star wars series.

The Rise of Skywalker is perceived to be a disappointment at the box office even though it grossed more than a billion-dollar worldwide like its other two predecessors.

Collections were a little less compared to the earlier two films in the trilogy that might be one of the reasons for a slight disappointment.

Next on made over one billion just like its two predecessors. However, it did make less money than the previous two films in the trilogy, which was probably a bit of a disappointment.

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9. John Carter (Andrew Stanton, 2012)

Photo: vieon
Photo: vieon

Cost of production: $264 million

The cost of John Carter was – with no better way to say it – ridiculous. It left Disney somewhere around $200 million out of pocket, making it the company’s biggest flop of all time. The personal cost of the film also wasn’t so small. Rich Ross – the former chairman of Walt Disney Studios – decided to resign just a month after the movie was released, while Disney lost the rights to produce the rest of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc’s back catalog after refusing to produce any John Carter sequels (Disney probably had the right idea on that one…).

What’s more, director Stanton began shooting the movie with Taylor Kitsch as the eponymous lead. But, thanks to various problems in post-production, Stanton was forced to shoot much of the movie twice – which, of course – soon saw the budget spiral out of control. In fact, John Carter would’ve had to make somewhere around $600 million just to break even. It didn’t even come close. Poor Stanton… Nobody wants to discover their own limitations on such a global stage.

10. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016)

Photo: saostar
Photo: saostar

Cost of production: $263 million

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the budget for "Batman v Superman" was higher than $250 million before tax incentives. A 2016 study by FilmLA puts the budget at $263 million after $37 million in incentives are accounted for. The plot of the movie revolves around the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman.

Batman role was played by famous Hollywood actor Ben Affleck. The film has been helmed by ace director Zack Snyder. The movie made a great collection of over $870 million across the world and fell just short of billion dollars as there were a lot of sequels planned.

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