Most Expensive Movies Ever Made
After ‘The Lone Ranger’ film starring Johnny Depp was shelved due to budget issues - having been pitched at over £154 million - we wanted to see which films cost the most to make.
Obviously inflation would have ruled a number of the old classics as cheap tat destined for the bargain bucket in a gutted Woolworths, so our boffins got to work on calculating some of the complex mathematical equations needed to find out the most expensive films of all time.
10 – King Kong / Spider-Man 2
Peter Jackson’s remake of the classic tale of a fictitious monster that looks an awful lot like a gorilla just sneaks into the top ten alongside Sam Raimi’s web slinger sequel. Costing just over £129 million and £124 million respectively, due to inflation rates since the films’ release dates that equates to more than a staggering £145 million to make each film. And this is just the beginning!
09 – Avatar
2009’s CGI epic blockbuster ‘Avatar’ cost a whopping £148 million to make which slightly inflates to £152 million in today’s cash. It sounds like a lot of dosh, but if you look at the box office figures, it took over £1.2 billion. So we reckon the initial outlay was sufficiently rewarded. Writer and director James Cameron did pretty well out of it too.
08 – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Johnny Depp and co set sail on the high seas for the second installment of the much-loved ‘Pirates’ franchise. Costing a little under £153 million, it plunders the eighth spot above ‘Avatar’. Early reports that most of the funding came from treasure chests littered on beaches around the world were quashed by producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s massive wallet.
07 – Waterworld
Although ‘Waterworld’, starring Kevin Costner, is one of the most expensive films ever made, critics didn’t think it was worth the paper the posters were printed on and it subsequently bombed at the US box office. Thankfully, the rest of the world liked it and pushed the film to a £62 million profit. Having cost £109 million back in 1995, today’s valuation puts it at £157 million, making it a very lucky escape.
06 – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The sixth installment of the outrageously popular Harry Potter series is also the sixth most expensive film ever made. Costing a cool £156 million to conjure, it followed the famous boy wizard as he becomes obsessed with a mysterious textbook, falls in love and attempts to retrieve a memory that holds the key to Lord Voldemort's downfall. There was no question it was going to be a box office success, and it raked in over £570 million at the box office.
05 – Tangled
A surprise entry at number five is the Disney animation, ‘Tangled’. It follows a bandit called Flynn Rider, who’s taken hostage by Rapunzel after hiding out in her tower (ahem). Flynn's curious captor, who's looking for her ticket out of the tower where she's been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief and the unlikely duo sets off on an action-packed escapade, complete with a super-cop horse and an over-protective chameleon (obviously). Costing just shy of £160 million, it proved worthwhile at the box office, taking £362million.
04 – Spider-Man 3
Following Peter Parker as he went through his curious emo stage, ‘Spider-Man 3’ was critically shunned. Fears of a flop were never really considered, as the franchise was so popular with audiences that it didn’t even matter. But after shelling out £167 million, both the producers and the studio must have been biting their nails. It still made over £30 million profit though.
03 – Titanic
The colossal James Cameron classic was one of the first films with a budget over £100 million (in 1997 money). Today, that sum rises to a monstrous £171 million! It was a resounding success and took almost £1.2 billion at the box office and was the highest-grossing movie until Cameron knocked himself off the top spot with the less expensive ‘Avatar’. No wonder they are re-releasing it in 3D next year.
02 – Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Disney’s franchise of the noughties only just missed out on the top spot with £195 million in today’s cash. The third flick in the saga, even with Johnny Depp’s outrageous wages couldn’t outdo our number one. Surely with two films in the top 10, film boss Jerry Bruckheimer could have dropped another mill in there somewhere.
01 – Cleopatra
Having cost £27 million pounds in 1963, the inflation raises this paltry sum to an almighty £196 million! Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison, Roddy McDowall and Martin Landau, ‘Cleopatra’ chronicles the struggles of Cleopatra VII, the young Queen of Egypt, to resist the imperialist ambitions of Rome. Quite fitting that Cleopatra sits on the most expensive Hollywood film throne then.