In 1997, director James Cameron’s “Titanic” broke records by becoming the most expensive movie ever made, with a budget of $200 million. Since then, $200 million movies have become almost commonplace — and one feature released in 2019 cost twice that.
24/7 Tempo has compiled the 50 most expensive movies ever made, with budgets unadjusted for inflation. All 50 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. (Here are the 50 top grossing movies of all time.)
Sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero films dominate the list of big-budget movies. Costs include the special effects, elaborate sets, stunts, costumes, and the computer generated graphics required to successfully portray a fantasy universe. Of the 50 films on our list, 13 are superhero-themed.
To identify the most expensive movies 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, too. Many films on the list are extensions of popular franchises, including four “Avengers” films, four “Pirates of the Caribbean” spinoffs, and four additions to the “Star Wars” canon. (Here is every Star Wars movie ranked from worst to best.)
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