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The 60 Most Expensive Movies of All Time

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | November 18, 2012 | Comments ()


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The thing about Hollywood suits is that, though they often have no idea how to make a good movie, they're very good at making profitable ones. Given the escalating production budgets on blockbuster films, you'd think that the studios would be seeing a lot of red. Not true. In fact, of the 50 Most Expensive Movies of All Time, only one failed to recoup its production budget after worldwide grosses were accounted for, the 2007 Evan Almighty, which only lost $2 million (and no, marketing budgets are not included, but let's assume for the sake of this list, that the marketing budget was recouped in DVD and digital sales). Indeed, of the 50 Most Expensive Films of All Time, only 7 films (including Evan Almighty) failed to make at least $100 million more than their production budgets: Rush Hour, Wild Wild West, Waterworld, Poseidon, Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Alexander. Yes, even Van Helsing made back more than $100 million Clearly, studio focus-testing works, even if the product ends up a diluted, inartful mess of explosions and celebrity voice-overs. It also proves that, if you throw a lot of money at a movie, audiences will throw it all back and then some.


1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End: $300 million ($960 million)

2. Tangled: $260 million ($560 million)

3. Spider-Man 3: $258 million ($890 million)

4. John Carter: $250 million ($282 million)

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5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: $250 million ($933 million)

6. Avatar: $237 million ($2.7 billion)

7. The Dark Knight Rises: $230 million (1.08 billion)

8. Superman Returns: $232 million ($391 million)

9. Quantum of Solace: $230 million ($576 million)

10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: $225 million ($1 billion)

11. The Avengers: $220 million ($1.511 billion)

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12. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: $225 million ($419 million)

13. Men in Black 3 -- $215 million ($624 million)

14. Robin Hood: $210 million ($322 million)

15. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: $210 million ($836 million)

16. Battleship: $209 million ($302 million)

17. King Kong: $207 million ($550 million)

18. His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass: $207 million ($372 million)

19. Toy Story 3: $200 million ($1 billion)

20. Spider-man 2: $200 million ($783 million)

21. Tron: Legacy: $200 million ($397 million)

22. 2012 -- $200 million ($769 million)

23. Skyfall -- $200 million ($661 million and counting)

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24. The Amazing Spider-Man -- $200 million ($752 million)

25. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time: $200 million ($335 million)

26. Alice in Wonderland: $200 million ($1 billion)

27. Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins: $200 million ($371 million)

28. Titanic: $200 million ($1.8 billion)

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29. Disney's A Christmas Carol: $190 million ($323 million)

30. Iron Man: $186 million ($582 million)

31. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: $185 million ($786 million)

32. The Dark Knight: $185 million ($1 billion)

33. Brave -- $185 million ($534 million)

34. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: $180 million ($748 million)

35. Wall-E: $180 million ($532 million)

36. Rush Hour: $180 million ($253 million)

37. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: $175 million ($302 million)

38. Up: $175 million ($731 million)

39. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: $175 million ($397 million)

40. Wild Wild West: $175 million ($221 million)

41. Waterworld: $175 million ($264 million)

42. Evan Almighty: $175 million ($173 million)

43. Monsters and Aliens: $175 million ($381 million)

44. Van Helsing: $170 million ($300 million)

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45. Iron Man 2: $170 million ($623 million)

46. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: $170 million ($433 million)

47. Polar Express: $170 million ($306 million)

48. Snow White and the Huntsman: $170 million ($396 million)

49. How to Train Your Dragon: $165 million ($494 million)

50. Shrek Forever After: $165 million ($752 million)

51. Shrek the Third: $160 million ($798 million)

52. Poseidon: $160 million ($182 million)

53. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: $160 million ($329 million)

54. The Sorcerer's Apprentice: $160 million ($215 million)

55. Inception: $160 million ($832 million)

56. Alexander: $155 million ($167 million)

57. Pearl Harbor: $151 million ($449 million)

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58. Transformers: $151 million ($708 million)

59. Troy: $150 million ($497 million)

60. Hancock: $150 million ($624 million)




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