The Most Expensive Movies Ever Made

It seems that Hollywood these days is more interested in making the big bucks than making a quality project, and it’s common knowledge that, if you want to make good movies, you need to spend big. Technological advances have made the filmmaking process easier than ever before. However, despite this, Hollywood is still pouring billions of dollars into producing some of the most expensive movies ever made. Whether it’s a movie about talking animals, superheroes or an exciting horse race that changed the world – like the Royal Ascot 2020 might be – lots of money is being poured into special effects.

Don’t think for a second that these mega-budget movies don’t pay off from the studio’s perspective. Many of these ultra-budget movies end up being the top-grossing movies ever. Even when a blockbuster fails to recover costs in the US, it usually recoups in the global market. Here are the most expensive movies ever made.  

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

This is the most expensive movie ever made, with the production budget of over $400 million. Despite the very satisfactory projected box office returns, this was a very risky investment. Although Depp’s payment was a mesmerizing $54 million, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides scored a worldwide gross of over $1,132,085,850.

As far as the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are concerned, On Stranger Tides was lacking the fun and originality of its predecessors. The plot perhaps had too many moments of clichés, but the story is nicely paced. However, despite these blotches, On Stranger Tides is a worthy feature. The visual effects are exceptional, the scenes were beautifully shot and intriguing, and we were able to see that costume designers did a superb job at recreating the period. To sum it all up, On Stranger Tides is not the best movie around, but it’s a solid installment.

Waterworld (1995)

Much like any Hollywood blockbuster, the cost of the production of Waterworld was more than $200 million, and it was the most expensive ever made at the time. The projected box office gross was so good that Costner invested additional $25 million of his personal funds. The shooting of the movie took place on a gigantic island specifically built for the production.

Waterworld is an interesting take on the genre, with some storylines being borrowed from “Mad Max”. The story about a post-apocalyptic world where everyone lives in the oceans was thoughtfully worked out. There are not so many plot holes (despite many claiming otherwise), and the soundtracks are brilliantly done. Waterworld has everything you could ask from a good action/sci-fi movie. The movie is definitely not an all-time great one, but it’s quite enjoyable.

Avatar (2009)

It’s a well-known fact that movie studios want to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay by increasing the budget. Cameron took quite a leap with creating his own digital world, hiring WETA Workshop for the special effects. By using super-sleek 3D, he managed to take Sci-Fi genre to another level. Having this in mind, it’s no surprise that the cost of the production was more than $240 million. However, it’s been certainly paying off as it was one of the highest-grossing movies ever made, making hefty $3,140,280,609.

While watching Avatar, you might not find the difference between the real world and the digital one. It took more than 80 hours for the production of every single frame and cutting-edge CGI. Kudos to Cameron and his team for creating out-of-this-world special effects.

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