Biggest Budgets of All-Time

All the dirt. All the top secret stuff. Anything that has to do with the process of getting us to sit and watch something projected on the big screen.

are "they" spending too much $ to make films?

yes
6
30%
no
2
10%
only on the "crap" films
4
20%
only the Dino should be able to throw money around like that on films...
8
40%
Kong
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 20

Biggest Budgets of All-Time

Postby havocSchultz on Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:58 pm

okay... so i was answering an inquiry on the box-office thread in regards to what some cg animated films cost to make in comparison to what they make... so - i figured it'd give you guys something "fun" to look over to see exactely how much monies is put into some films - and - as some of you might know - alot of those films did not do the kinda business they should have for that kind of money...

the page also includes the films domestic gross - so you can compare...

Biggest Film Budgets

keep in mind - this hasn't been updated since last may - so no Knog on the list - but i think it would be around #2 or #3... i don't think it cost more than Titanic...but i think it was pretty damn close...
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Postby Pacino86845 on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:08 pm

Man, 0.05 ratio for Pluto Nash, that's gotta hurt. I hope nobody killed themself over that one (though if they went to Dino DeLaurentiis for some advice, well...).
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:10 pm

Pacino86845 wrote:Man, 0.05 ratio for Pluto Nash, that's gotta hurt. I hope nobody killed themself over that one (though if they went to Dino DeLaurentiis for some advice, well...).


You mean the ratio was THAT much :wink:
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:11 pm

interesting page, Havoc, thanks.

FYI, according to Wiki, Kong cost $207M with a domestic box (as of late March) of $218M for a ratio of 1.05. So it actually did end up beating Titanic, budget-wise. The ratio is nowhere near Titanic levels but considering how few of the films on that list have a ratio over 1.00, KK did ok.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Kong_(2005_film)

ETA: why the hell isn't this link working?
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Postby jgraphix on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:17 pm

Considering that the price of everything has exponentially increased in the past 1 or 2 decades, are they really spending THAT much more on blockbusters than say, 20 years ago? Probably, but I would be interested in seeing just how different the comparison would be.
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:21 pm

jgraphix wrote:Considering that the price of everything has exponentially increased in the past 1 or 2 decades, are they really spending THAT much more on blockbusters than say, 20 years ago? Probably, but I would be interested in seeing just how different the comparison would be.


So, I found a website that compares $ in terms of changes in the consumer price index over the years. Who knows if it's accurate, but what the hell.

T2 was made 15 years ago with a budget of $100M (a record shattering budget for its time). $100M in 1991 equates to $141M today (well, as of 2005).

Kong's budget was $207M. So yes, movies are being made more expensively, at least at the extreme top end of the spectrum. $141M wouldn't even put T2 in the top 15 today.

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/
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Postby havocSchultz on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:28 pm

cool...thanx for the other links Lord Moo...

i was surprised to see some big flops like dinosaur and Speed 2 and stuff like that in the upper echelon of pricey movies... i mean - everybody heard about the Waterworld fiasco when it came out...

funy thing is - james cameron's movies are almost always "the biggest budget ever" whenever they come out... T2 was at it's time... i believe true lies was one of the highest budgetted films at it's time... and then - of course - Titanic... should be good to see what his new films will cost as well...
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Postby jgraphix on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:32 pm

Here are some that are a bit closer

X-men: $75 mil
Mission Impossible: $80 mil
Sin City: $40 mil
Harry Potter Sorcerers Stone: $120 Mil
Pirates OT Carribean: $82 Mil

I'm also reading that Spiderman-3 is speculated to be upwards of $300 Mil for the production budget.
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Postby RogueScribner on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:39 pm

No studio is going to approve a $300 million budget. If they do, they deserve to lose money.
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:53 pm

Even at $300M Spidey 3 would show a profit. It seems pretty wasteful though...
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Postby havocSchultz on Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:54 pm

1st of all - i also highly doubt the fact that spidey 3 would actually have a budget of around $300 million...2ndly - honestly - if any film in the near future would have that budget - and have a chance of turning a profit - it probably would be spiderman 3 though... but still - sounds a lil absurdly high...
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Postby Tubbs Tattsyrup on Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:15 pm

Sorry, where are we getting the idea that Spidey 3 is costing $300 million? I think only Titanic cost that much (with its budget overruns)...maybe Cleopatra too, I dont know.
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Postby Lord Voldemoo on Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:39 pm

Sad part is "Dinosaur" came out only a few years ago, with a budget of $200M, and until this thread I had completely forgotten that it even existed...
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Postby Flumm on Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:49 pm

Lord Voldemoo wrote:Sad part is "Dinosaur" came out only a few years ago, with a budget of $200M, and until this thread I had completely forgotten that it even existed...


IPAMPILASH

I know Voldy, I laugh because I was the same. Exinct in it's own lifetime.





At least we still have Waterworld!

WOO HOO!

....

....what, no takers? :shock:


Thing is though, as far as I'm aware anyway, Dinosaur doesn't have a big reputation around it, for a big budget film. I mean it cost teh same as Titanic!? It doesn't even have a reputation as a big studly ass bomb like Waterwold. Hell, I bet more people know about Pluto Nash's reputation than they do about Dinosaur's. Did anyone see it. Was it really that bad? What the hell went wrong there?
Last edited by Flumm on Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:02 pm

Superman Returns has a 250 million dollar budget, so I could certainly concieve that Spiderman 3 was given a 300 million dollar cheque
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Postby jgraphix on Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:19 pm

"If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happens if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?"
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:13 pm

Dinosaur? Good gods, I hardly remembered it. How did it come to cost $200 million? They must have recreated most of the movie after they thought they were finished.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:15 pm



Does anyone else want to know what exactly Superman Returns 250-300m budget is being spent on?
I just can't see how fx of Superman flying, using heat rays and x-ray vision, can cost 300 mil.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:28 pm

So far as I can tell, amazing sums of money are spent these days on such things as paying for a star's/director's/producer's entourge, something these people once paid from their own pockets. Put enough celebrities together, add in the fees to the director's production company, and the costs start to rise.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:33 pm

DennisMM wrote:So far as I can tell, amazing sums of money are spent these days on such things as paying for a star's/director's/producer's entourge, something these people once paid from their own pockets. Put enough celebrities together, add in the fees to the director's production company, and the costs start to rise.


I long for the day when I'm as cynical as Dennis, that's a god honest compliment.
It's probably true. I was hoping that Singer had something EPIC planned but I'm not so sure.
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:37 pm

You can do epic on $200 million and I think Singer is trying to bring us something big. I just think the extra $50 million is probably going for luxuries.
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Postby TonyWilson on Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:41 pm

DennisMM wrote:You can do epic on $200 million and I think Singer is trying to bring us something big. I just think the extra $50 million is probably going for luxuries.


Thats just nauseating.
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Postby Kilgore on Mon Mar 27, 2006 7:41 pm

TonyWilson wrote:


Does anyone else want to know what exactly Superman Returns 250-300m budget is being spent on?
I just can't see how fx of Superman flying, using heat rays and x-ray vision, can cost 300 mil.


Roughly $60 million alone has been spent re-animating Marlon Brando's corpse for some crucial re-shoots...
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Postby DennisMM on Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:18 pm

I may be wrong, Tony. The astounding figure could be the result of gross incompetence. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was supposed to cost something like $15. It cost over $40. Some of that was reshoots because of story changes, but a lot went to special effects. Robert Abel and Associates, a company best known for commercials work, was contracted for the special effects. After a year they had produced no usable footage and poor trials footage, to the tune of something like $7 million. The production was forced to hire two separate companies to work on different aspects of the effects. That's common now, but in 1979 it was unheard of. The practice has always cost more than using a single effects house.
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Re: Biggest Budgets of All-Time

Postby buster00 on Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:01 am

havocSchultz wrote:
the page also includes the films domestic gross - so you can compare...

Biggest Film Budgets
...



Fascinating link, Havoc! Thanks!

I forgot about Dinosaur as well...and what about Treasure Planet? Eeeehgghh...

Or Town & Country? Cripes, I had to iMDB that one...I don't think I've ever even heard of it. Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Andie MacDowell, Goldie Hawn, Jenna Elfman and Garry Shandling were all in it (which explains where the money went), and it STILL has that miserable .07 ratio!
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Re: Biggest Budgets of All-Time

Postby havocSchultz on Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:04 am

buster00 wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:
the page also includes the films domestic gross - so you can compare...

Biggest Film Budgets
...



Fascinating link, Havoc! Thanks!

I forgot about Dinosaur as well...and what about Treasure Planet? Eeeehgghh...

Or Town & Country? Cripes, I had to iMDB that one...I don't think I've ever even heard of it. Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Andie MacDowell, Goldie Hawn, Jenna Elfman and Garry Shandling were all in it (which explains where the money went), and it STILL has that miserable .07 ratio!


ya... it's weird how some movies just have huge budgets... and you can't really seem to figure out why... if i remember correctly - and i usually don't - town & country had a few to numerous re-shoots...i think it's cause somebody in the crew - during all of beatty's scenes - would hold up a sign that said: "REDS" is OVER-RATED!!!
or something to that effect...
damn near ruined the whole 3rd reel...
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Re: Biggest Budgets of All-Time

Postby buster00 on Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:25 am

havocSchultz wrote: if i remember correctly - and i usually don't - town & country had a few to numerous re-shoots...i think it's cause somebody in the crew - during all of beatty's scenes - would hold up a sign that said: "REDS" is OVER-RATED!!!
or something to that effect...
damn near ruined the whole 3rd reel...


HA! Now THAT'S comedy! They should've left 'em in!

As for the vote, I went predictably enough -- with the Pro-Dino lobby.

I suppose that's a legitimate source of debate. People are going HUNGRY, ferchrissakes...but someone decided Pluto Nash was going to be a better idea than FEEDING THEM.

(*sigh*) Capitalism is funny like that. I didn't say I was above it. I'm going to the comic book shop tomorrow, not the soup kitchen. I'm just sayin'.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:33 am

DennisMM wrote:Dinosaur? Good gods, I hardly remembered it. How did it come to cost $200 million? They must have recreated most of the movie after they thought they were finished.

Well maybe unlike Dreamworks with Shrek...Disney lumped in all of the cost of preproduction since it was being developed for like 15 years. Shrek was also in developement for close to a decade.
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Postby RogueScribner on Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:36 am

Tubbs Tattsyrup wrote:Sorry, where are we getting the idea that Spidey 3 is costing $300 million? I think only Titanic cost that much (with its budget overruns)...maybe Cleopatra too, I dont know.


No movie has cost $300 million. I don't know about adjusting for inflation, but hard numbers-wise, nope, never. Titanic was $200 million ($140 million from Fox, $60 million from Paramount). $200 million is pretty much the ceiling for budgets these days, which is why I laugh at the notion of a $300 million budget. There's not that many movies that MAKE $300 million, so why would a studio risk spending that much money on producing one?

Chairman Kaga wrote:Well maybe unlike Dreamworks with Shrek...Disney lumped in all of the cost of preproduction since it was being developed for like 15 years. Shrek was also in developement for close to a decade.


That could be the case for Superman as well. Warner Bros. must have spent a pretty penny in the development for the film in the late '90s. Didn't get as far as location scouting and pre-production art before falling apart? I'm sure some people had pay-or-play deals as well.
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Postby wonkabar on Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:25 am

ROTK...best return, despite expense.
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Postby RockyDennis on Wed Mar 29, 2006 10:51 am

Is the advertising budget included in these numbers?
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Postby Chilli on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:20 am

Superman had 30 million spent on pre-production (AT LEAST) for the various incarnations.

Heck - Burton/Cage had pay for play deals that netted them pay whether it was made or not... plus they wound up using about 15 writers through the years who each took a nice payday.

I'd say the pure budget for this film would be about 225 tops.
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Postby Leckomaniac on Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:46 am

I must echo the earlier sentiments...Dinosaur???

I completely forgot about that movie.

$200 Million???? Wow someone dropped the ball at Disney.
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:44 pm

RogueScribner wrote:That could be the case for Superman as well. Warner Bros. must have spent a pretty penny in the development for the film in the late '90s. Didn't get as far as location scouting and pre-production art before falling apart? I'm sure some people had pay-or-play deals as well.

Good point. Another developmentally challenged film that ran a huge budget as a result.
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Re: Biggest Budgets of All-Time

Postby TheButcher on Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:22 am

Disney expects $200-million loss on 'John Carter'
The Martian adventure film cost about $350 million to make and market but failed to catch on with audiences. Disney had hoped to turn the movie into a franchise.
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Re: Biggest Budgets of All-Time

Postby TheButcher on Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:59 am

ScreenRant 10.10.2015:
10 Most Expensive Movies Ever Made
Margaret Maurer wrote:Rumors have sparked that that the Avengers: Infinity Wars, Part 1 and 2 will have a $1 billion budget between the two movies. If this is the case, then these third and fourth installments of the Avengers series will be the most expensive movies of all time.

Forbes APR 27, 2016:
The Most Expensive Movies Ever Made
Madeline Berg wrote:
Top notch actor? $10 million. Visual effects team? $25 million Shooting in 3D? $15 million. Creating a film that brings viewers into another world? Not exactly priceless.

Over the past 10 years, movies have become more expensive than ever before, with the priciest one, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, costing Disney $300 million to produce in 2007. That’s almost $40 million more than the runner up 2012's John Carter, a $264 million flop also by Disney. The slew of superhero and fantasy films that follow in our list of Most Expensive Movies Ever Made all cost upwards of $200 million to produce.

Our list is based only production costs—not marketing and other post-production expenses—and was sourced, unadjusted for inflation, from IMDB.

Had inflation been counted for, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End would have still been the most expensive film, costing an adjusted $341 million. Post inflation, 20th Century Fox's 1997’s Titanic would have rounded out at $296.4 million to rank second. While the studio was originally concerned about its $200 million budget, the James Cameron film has grossed over $2.1 billion worldwide—and earned millions more on home video. Cleopatra, which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, infamously almost caused 20th Century Fox to go into bankruptcy at its 1963 price tag of $31 million.In 2016, it would have cost a steep $241 million—eye-watering but not implausible in Hollywood today.

The remainder of the top films would remain more or less the same—though in a different order—illustrating that movies have been getting more and more expensive over the years.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly when movie budgets began to skyrocket or the specific elements that caused prices to increase, but our cultural obsession with action-heavy superhero or fantasy films could be to blame: These films require inflated budgets to cover the special effects (both visual and sound) and stunts.

“There are two big factors: labor and technology,” explained producer Paul Schwake, who was most recently COO at Skydance Media. In a film with a modest number of 150 to 250 visual effects shots of five seconds each, every altered shot costs between $70,000 and $100,000 to produce. But the labor involved can tally far more, costing anywhere from $11 million to a stunning $25 million. On action films with more visual effects, those numbers can soar even higher. Hence the stratospheric budgets for films like Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, for which the cost of special effects came out to about $1 million per minute, according to the New York Times.

Then there's the technology itself, which is constantly evolving. “Every director wants ‘never before seen’ so by definition a quarter of the shots if not more are going to be new and must be developed from scratch,” Schwake said.

On top of that is the marked up pricetag for going 3-D, which can add an extra $10 million to $15 million in post-production.

“Any movie like Spider-Man or Pirates of the Caribbean... The studios go into them, the directors go into them feeling they must exceed the spectacle of the last one,” said NPR’s Kim Masters.

In an attempt to secure audiences, these films often feature popular—and expensive—actors as their leads. Johnny Depp, who starred in all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, generally commands an eight-figure salary for his films. For At World’s End, his upfront pay neared an estimated $15 million, and is thought to have increased north of $30 million for On Stranger Tides.

After two wildly successful Spider Man films, Tobey Maguire was able to negotiate a hefty salary for Spider Man 3: pocketing a reported $15 million plus 7.5% of back-end revenues (for Spider Man 2 Maguire made an estimated $27 million in back-end money alone).

In movies with larger ensemble casts packed with stars—Avengers: Age of Ultron or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, both with $250 million budgets—these upfront salaries add up. The Avengers star cast includes the world's highest-paid actor, Robert Downey Jr., who received an estimated $20 million upfront for the 2015 film. Add on the far smaller, single-digit-million paydays for Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner, and the budget is quickly eaten up.

But with the most expensive movies, was all that spending worth it? The results are mixed.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which ticketed 2007’s biggest gross with $963 million, likely barely broke even when marketing and other costs are factored in. It was only the third highest-grossing Pirated of the Caribbean film, despite costing more than the others (Dead Man’s Chest cost $225 million and grossed $1.07 billion; On Stranger Tides cost $250 million and grossed $1.05 billion, and the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, cost only $140 million and grossed $654 million).

John Carter, on the other hand, flopped hard, only grossing $284 million, or about $20 million more than its production budget. When marketing, backend payment to talent and “off-the-tops” (releasing related expenses) are factored in, the film ended up in the red and was held partially responsible for Disney’s $84 million loss in 2012’s second quarter.

When it comes to striking the perfect balance, Avatar had the kind of box office success that studios dream of. The James Cameron showpiece was expensive—$237 million—thanks to stereoscopic film-making, a 3D version and motion capture animation. But it ended up grossing $2.8 billion worldwide.

Still, many of the highest-grossing films do not feature on our list of the most expensive films ever made. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a box office behemoth grossing $2.06 billion, but cost “only” $200 million to produce. Jurassic World grossed $1.67 billion on a production budget of $150 million. And box office behemoth Titanic grossed a whopping $2.19 billion (including the $58 million it grossed from its 2012 domestic re-release), while costing $200 million.

So money spent is not always money made, but as long as there are superhero movies, we can be sure of super-sized budgets. And with extended universes dotting the foreseeable future, these box office bonanzas will continue.

Just look at 2016, Schwake pointed out. “We are only a quarter of the way into the year and we’ve already got three films over $300 million. These tentpoles that do $300 million and $1 billion worldwide, they really are a great place to be in the business, right now.”

For the latest on the entertainment industry, follow me on Twitter @MadelinePBerg.
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