Sometimes, while watching a movie, you tend to forget that everything isn’t real. The set props, the background characters, the special effects all add huge production costs. When the realization sets in though, you may be left wondering how expensive all of it can be. Filmmakers bring incredible scenarios to life on screen and build worlds we’ve never seen before.
A film’s production budget includes set construction and operation costs, special effects, props, and costumes. It also includes cast salaries, technical crew, stunt doubles, producers, directors, and so much more. The highest movie budgets of all time are more than many films can ever hope to earn at the box office.
Some of the most expensive movies are Superhero movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and Star Wars. Let’s take a look at the films with the highest budgets.
The Hobbit Trilogy
The Hobbit trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson, was produced between 2012 and 2014 and cost approximately $623 million.
The three high fantasy adventure movies had incredible sets, special effects, and a star-studded cast, including Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The trilogy’s actual budget was between $700-$745 million.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
These two movies were produced between 2006 and 2007 and cost approximately $450 million. At World’s End alone was said to have cost $362 million when you adjust for inflation. Together all five films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer had a budget of over a billion dollars. The films had extensive sets, special effects, designs, costumes, and a high-paid cast.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2
Mockingjay parts 1 and 2 were released in 2014 and 2015 and had a combined cost of $300 million. The science fiction dystopian films had huge production costs and actor salaries. The four films in the series had a budget of $495 million and made almost three billion dollars at the box office!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
The Lord of the Rings trilogy was released between 2001 and 2003 and estimated $260 million. The three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson made almost three billion dollars at the box office. The films had a high-paid cast, huge sets, costumes, props, and special effects.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2
The Deathly Hallows films were released in 2010 and 2011 and cost approximately $250 million. The films took incredible sets and special effects to bring the magical fantasy world to life. The cast of the film was paid very highly as well.
When you really think about these movies and what an amazing job has been done in fantasy world-building, it makes sense that these are some of the most expensive movies made.