Captain America: Civil War
It’s interesting to think of the movie Captain America: Civil War would be if Spider-Man hadn’t ended up being part of it. There was a working version of the script without Spidey’s involvement, but as it stands, the film ended up giving the web-head the perfect introduction to the MCU. He’s a fully-formed hero, allowing Spider-Man: Homecoming to gloss over the elements of his origin story that had already been told to death onscreen.
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Given the advancements in moviemaking technology Avatar helped usher in, it’s astonishing the film isn’t higher up on this list. At the time it came out, it actually was the most expensive movie ever made, but thanks to the advent of major blockbusters and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its title soon fell.
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No Time to Die
It’s only appropriate for the next James Bond installment to top the previous, but the true cost of No time to Die is under dispute. While it’s been reported the budget came in at less than $250 million, Variety reported that it could be as high as $300 million due to delays as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Furious 7 was originally only supposed to cost in the neighborhood of $190 million. However, the unexpected death of star Paul Walker forced the team behind the scenes to use unseen footage and digital effects to complete the movie without him. This forced the budget to skyrocket toward $250 million.
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Beauty and the Beast
Disney has recently gotten in the business of remaking all of its beloved animated classics into the realm of live-action. However, animation seems downright affordable when looking at the cost of some of these movies, especially Beauty and the Beast, which was produced for $255 million during production in Europe.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens was less reliant on CGI than the prequels. As such, it utilized more real sets and props. So why was it over twice the budget? As it turns out, filming in real locations isn’t always necessarily cheaper than using a green screen.
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It may seem weird that a Disney retelling of Rapunzel would cost so much. However, the high budget can be attributed to the film's combination of hand-drawn animation and CGI. Production also stopped and started repeatedly before the finished product could get underway.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
FilmLA estimated the budget for Batman v Superman was around $263 million after tax incentives. It’s a feat director Zack Snyder would top for his follow-up effort, Justice League.
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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The Rise of Skywalker was by no means a flop, but by Disney’s standards for a Star Wars film, it underperformed. Many believe the reason for this to be an over-saturation of Star Wars movies.With a franchise as big as Star Wars, you're almost guaranteed to see a profit, even after spending almost $300 million.
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Prior to the Snyder Cut, Justice League faced many of the same problems behind the scenes as Solo. There was a director change, and the film received numerous reshoots and added scenes. The theatrical cut was lambasted upon release only to get reborn under Snyder's original vision.
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Avengers: Infinity War
It was the most ambitious crossover of all time. Signing all of those big-name stars, who at that point had starred in several money-making blockbusters, couldn’t have been cheap. At this point, it was a culmination of all the Marvel movies up to that point, so you know they had to go big or go home.
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Avengers: Age of Ultron
There’s some dispute as to the true cost of Age of Ultron. Some sources list its budget closer to $250 million, but Forbes published a report that put it over $400 million, which was of course offset by subsidies.
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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
On Stranger Tides is the most expensive film ever made? 'How can that be?' you might ask. First, the movie was shot using expensive 3D cameras. Secondly, many of the scenes were shot at sea, which many major film productions can attest is exceptionally costly. Not only that, the franchise had been red hot since its inception so a huge budget was a calculated risk.
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