30. Troy ($218 million)
With a budget of over $218 million, Troy was one of the most expensive films made back in 2004. While it did gross $459 million worldwide, it wasn’t the huge tentpole the studio had hoped for. Brad Pitt had hoped this would skyrocket his career to superstardom, but it sadly was not the right vehicle.
29. 2012 ($220.4 million)
2012 was a lavish spectacle that cost almost a quarter of a million and you can see every single penny on screen. As we saw, it’s pretty expensive trying to kill John Cusack by destroying the world.
28. Terminator Salvation ($220 million)
Terminator Salvation was supposed to resurrect the franchise after the abysmal third outing. Unfortunately, for Christian Bale, it was a complete bomb. With a budget over $220 million and only grossing $371 million worldwide, the studio wasn’t interested in continuing with the new timeline established in the film.
27. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($220 million)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen more than made back its budget when it was released. Grossing $897 million worldwide, the film was a slam dunk for Michael Bay. Of course, the critics hated it, but what else is new?
26. Quantum of Solace ($225 million)
Daniel Craig is quite expensive these days, so it comes as no surprise that it cost over $225 million for his second outing as Bond. The film went on to gross $586 million worldwide, which was low for the franchise, but enough to warrant making another one. Let’s face it, Bond will never die.
25. The Avengers ($227.6)
The Avengers was the first major team-up film from Marvel and cost quite a pretty penny to produce. Of course, most of this went to Robert Downey Jr. to feed his ego (we kid, we kid),
24. Man of Steel ($228.8 million)
After a few failed tries to reboot Superman, Man of Steel flew into cinemas in 2013 and unwittingly launched the DC Cinematic Universe. Of course, since then DC has struggled to find its footing, but the film despite its flaws went on to gross $668 million globally.
23. Men in Black III ($232.8 million)
Who could have imagined that Men of Black III would cost as much as it did? We have a feeling a huge chunk of that went to Will Smith because the movie wasn’t all that great. Here comes the stingy in black should be the new theme song.
22. The Amazing Spider-Man ($238 million)
The Amazing Spider-Man was Sony’s attempt to reboot the franchise after Spider-Man 3 didn’t perform as well as they had hoped. While Spider-Man 4 was originally in the works, they chose to scrap it for a new version and new cast. Of course, change doesn’t come cheap in Hollywood. Thankfully, the gamble paid off and the movie made $757 million worldwide.
21. Wild Wild West ($240 million)
We simply can’t believe that 1999’s Wild Wild West cost $240 million to make. Then again, we seem to see a pattern with these super expensive movies that star Will Smith.
20. Spectre ($246 million)
Another Bond movie, another crazy budget. Daniel Craig must have enough money to live until he’s 500 years old at this point, right? The film was a box office hit though, raking in over $880 million.
19. Superman Returns ($246 million)
Superman Returns was the first attempt to reboot the franchise by doing a direct sequel to the Reeves films. Unfortunately, reshoots and studio interference resulted in a mediocre final product. The movie failed to make back its budget and marketing costs, only earning $391 million worldwide.
18. X-Men: The Last Stand ($247 million)
In the final film in the original X-Men trilogy, the X-Men must face off against Magneto and Jean Grey. It was a horribly contrived film that the fans rejected ultimately. It did make $459 million worldwide but was ultimately a disappointment.
17. Spider-Man 2 ($250 million)
Spider-Man 2 didn’t perform as well as the other two entries and that is mainly due to a weak villain that the audiences weren’t too interested in. Let’s be real here, Dr. Ock was stupid. It did make $783 million worldwide, so money-wise the studio was happy.
16. King Kong ($250.3 million)
It should come as no surprise that Peter Jackson’s King Kong was an over-budget spectacle. Treating the movie like Lord of the Rings, he expanded on the original film’s mythology, making a 3-hour epic that unfortunately BORED audiences.
15. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($251 million)
Avengers: Age of Ultron was always going to cost more due to its grander scale. Thankfully, the fans kept showing up at the theaters too. Grossing over $1.4 billion, the movie was a slam dunk for Marvel.
14. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ($253.9 million)
While The Chronicles of Narnia captured the imagination of children with the first film, by the second film no one was really that interested. In fact, the movie underperformed at the box office with only $419 million worldwide. This wardrobe should have stayed closed.
13. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines ($257 million)
Terminator: Rise of the Machines had a lot riding against it. The film lost star Linda Hamilton due to the story killing her off and it simply was no T2. With a high budget and waning fan interest, the movie underperformed, stalling the franchise for almost a decade.
12. John Carter ($259 million)
John Carter was a huge gamble for Disney in terms of making an original property. And it didn’t pay off…at all. The film barely made back its budget and is considered one of the worst films to come out of the Mouse House in years.
11. The Dark Knight Rises ($259 million)
The final film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy cost quite a bit in terms of the budget. However, it performed extremely well with the critics and at the box office. Although, we still think Bane was the worst villain ever.
10. The Hobbit ($260 million)
Peter Jackson hoped to capture lightning in a bottle twice with The Hobbit and piggyback off the success of his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Unfortunately, people seemed sick and tired of Middle Earth when it came to the critics. Thankfully, the movie would make over $1.02 billion so who cares what they think!
9. Avatar ($261 million)
Avatar was the first film to truly utilize motion capturing technology in a realistic way. The movie also is the highest grossing film of all-time, making over $2.8 billion worldwide. It’s going to take a very special film to dethrone the blue people of Pandora.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($265 million)
The Pirates movies cost a lot to make that’s for sure. Between Johnny Depp’s salary and filming on location in the Caribbean, it definitely made a dent in Disney’s wallet. The movie made over $1 billion worldwide though, so it all worked out in the end.
7. Waterworld ($271 million)
There’s been no greater financial film disaster than Waterworld. Made for an astronomical $271 million, the movie only made $264 million. Let’s just say it wasn’t Kevin Costner’s best career move.
6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($275.5 million)
The Harry Potter film series has always performed well at the box office, and by the sixth film, the costs were on the rise. Thankfully, box office returns never faltered and the film took in $934.4 million.
5. Tangled ($281.3 million)
The high cost of Tangled puzzled industry insiders, but the blend of traditional CG animation and hand-drawn upped the expenses. While the film was a hit with critics, it would be a financial disappointment for Disney, only making $590 million worldwide.
4. Spider-Man 3 ($291 million)
With both Spider-man and Spider-man 2 doing such great business, Sony upped the budget for the third and final outline. Sadly, the film was hated by fans and critics alike. Although, it still performed well at the box office.
3. Titanic ($294 million)
James Cameron’s Titanic is one of the most beloved movies of our generation. However, in 1996 when it was filmed, the budget was way over what the studio wanted to pay. In the end, it didn’t matter. The film would become the highest grossing film of all time with $2.2 billion worldwide.
2. Cleopatra ($340 million)
Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra didn’t start with such a large budget. In fact, it originally was planned at $25 million; however, production delays turned the film into a financial nightmare. It would take years for it to recoup its costs but has found a loyal following.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End ($341 million)
The last film in the original Pirates trilogy also cost the most. Thankfully, the film grossed $963 million worldwide and more than made up for the lavish production costs.