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The Most Expensive Movie Ever Made

Movies that cost a great deal of money often pay off. This is certainly true with some superhero movies, and movies about insanely fast cars. In other cases, studios make films that flop. In today’s movie environment movies have a number of ways to make money that did not exist years ago. These include international distribution and money made from DVDs (not so much anymore) and streaming.

The biggest movies expenses usually fall into two categories. The first is actor salaries. Some stars make as much as $20 million a year. The other is the cost of sets, which can include everything from huge explosions to computer-generated characters and backgrounds. Simple sets like those in old Westerns are largely gone.

There’s a rule of thumb that a movie has to have a worldwide box office of at least twice its production budget to be profitable. 24/7 Tempo picked the most expensive movie ever made, based on production budgets. (We should note that spending doesn’t end with production — studios also invest in marketing.)

“Avatar,” the biggest grossing movie ever, made an incredible $2.8 billion at the box office, more than 10 times its production budget of $237 million. “Avengers: Infinity War,” the No. 1 movie on our list, had a production budget of $300 million and made almost seven times that.

The list of movies we looked at to find the most expensive one includes some movies that were regarded as duds, although they at least made more than their production budgets. These include 2012’s “John Carter,” starring Taylor Kitsch, which had a budget of $264 million and worldwide box office of $283 million. This was followed in 2013 by “The Lone Ranger,” which starred Johnny Depp. It cost $225 million and made $260 million.

To determine the most expensive movie ever made, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from movie business information database The Numbers on the films with the highest production budgets of all time. Supplemental data also came from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.

The most expensive movie ever made was Avengers: Endgame released in 2019. Here are some details

> Production budget: $400 million
> Worldwide box office: $2.8 billion (Domestic: $858.4 million)
> Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth
> Rotten Tomatoes score: Audience: 90%; Critics: 94%

Click here to read The 50 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made