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The Top Ten Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Trends The Top Ten Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

Over the past weekend, my husband and I got to enjoy a date night. As those of you with young children probably know, date nights become few and far between once the kids come along, so we were pretty excited to get to spend some time together.

The date was your standard dinner and a movie affair. We went out to our favorite restaurant then headed to the theater to check out Oz the Great and Powerful.

I’ll admit it’s been awhile since I’ve been to see a movie in the theater. The ticket price was a bit alarming. We saw the regular version of the movie, and the cost was $11. If we’d chosen the 3-D version, it would have jumped to $20 per person.

We gripe about the cost to go see a movie, which is now just over $8 nationwide (not counting 3-D movies). But, the average cost to make a movie is over $65 million, as of 2007, which makes a $10 or $11 ticket pale in comparison.

While $65 million seems like a lot to most of us, it is nowhere near the cost of the most expensive movies. Check out the film budgets of the 10 most expensive films.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

It’s amazing that a movie franchise based on an amusement park ride would cost so much. But, the third installment in the popular Pirates series bears the honor of having the highest movie budget, ever.

It’s production budget was $300 million dollars, nearly five times the average cost to make a movie.


It might surprise you that an animated film makes the list of the most expensive movies ever made. Tangled, which was a retelling of the tale of Rapunzel, had a budget of $260 million.

The high cost of the film is thought to be because it’s a combination of hand-drawn animation and flashy computer animation.

Spiderman 3

The third installment in the first Spiderman trilogy was the biggest disappointment for fans, but also the one with the highest movie budget. The final film had a budget of $258 million.

Although it didn’t do well with the critics, the film did manage to gross nearly $900 million at the box office.

John Carter

Poor John Carter. The long-awaited film version of the classic sci-fi novels had one of the biggest film budgets, but also proved to be a bust at the box office.

The movie did manage to earn back its budget, but attendance in the US was dismal.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

This film, the sixth from the popular Harry Potter series, had a budget of $250 million, like John Carter.

Unlike John Carter, it ended up grossing more than $900 million at the box office.


The movie Avatar was a game-changer. It was also one of the most expensive movies made, with a budget of $237 million at the time it was made. 

Avatar broke records by grossing more than $2 billion worldwide.

The Amazing Spiderman

The first movie in the relaunch of the Spiderman series had a more modest budget than the third installment of the first series, especially when you take inflation into account.

Its budget was $230 million in 2012 dollars and it ended up grossing more than $750 million.

Chronicles of Narnia – Prince Caspian

The second film installment of the beloved Narnia series also had a pretty hefty budget – $225 million. The film brought in a decent, but not jaw dropping, amount at the box office – $420 million.

Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest

The second Pirates movie had a more modest budget than the third, but not by much. Its budget was $225 million. It ended up grossing more than the third film, bringing in more than $1 billion worldwide.

The Avengers

A movie about a team of superheroes, The Avengers had what could be considered a modest budget of just $220 million, especially when compared to other action movies.

While it has the lowest budget of the top 10 most expensive movies, it earned more than almost all of them (except Avatar), bringing in $1.5 billion at the box office.

“The Top Ten Most Expensive Movies Ever Made” was written by Kelly Anderson. 


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