Hollywood has a long history of films with production costs that went over budget. Directors like Clint Eastwood who make movies quickly and inexpensively are prized by studios. Extremely expensive movies clearly run the risk of losing money — and they have with some regularity over the 100 years plus since moviemakers began hiring actors and building sets.
24/7 Tempo found the most expensive movie ever made by reviewing film budgets unadjusted for inflation. Most of the movies we screened were made in the last two decades. Ultra-expensive movies are becoming increasingly more common — and they often pay off. Indeed, some of the most expensive movies ever made are also among the highest-grossing. Some of those that have lost the most money were also on the list we reviewed.
To identify the most expensive movie ever made, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the production budgets for 4,768 movies in our database. Production budget and domestic box office figures come from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by consulting firm Nash Information Services. Box office figures are not inflation-adjusted. Cast information comes from IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon.
Sequels to successful movies have become a safe bet for studios to pour money into. Many of the most expensive films to make are extensions of popular franchises, including four Avengers films, four Pirates of the Caribbean spin-offs, and four additions to the Star Wars canon.
The most expensive movie ever made was “Avengers: Endgame” (2019), which also made money. Here are some of the details:
> Production budget: $400 million
> Domestic box office: $858.4 million
> Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
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