Funding a Blockbuster


Matt Gubler

Photo Illustration by Ashlyn Cary

By Sara Wilcox

As technology becomes more advanced and is incorporated into more films, movie budgets increase. Surprisingly, movies produced in 2017 aren’t in the top 10 most expensive films ever made. Let’s take a look at the most expensive movies made in 2017:

10. “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” had a production budget of $180 million. According to The Take, many film budgets range from $100-$150 million. The average cost of a feature film is $70-$90 million. Though spending double the average cost, it still made its money back as it grossed $215 million worldwide.

9. “Thor: Ragnarok”

“Thor: Ragnarok” was another relatively lower budget film as it cost $180 million. It made plenty of its money back as it grossed more than $315 million in domestic profits.

8. “Blade Runner 2049”

“Blade Runner 2049” was a little more expensive with a budget of $185 million. This movie only grossed $92 million domestically, but it made most of its money overseas with an international gross of almost $170 million.

7. “Kong: Skull Island”

This “King Kong” reboot cost the same amount as “Blade Runner: 2049,” but did better in the box offices as it earned a domestic profit of $168 million.

6. “The Mummy”

“The Mummy” was another movie that did poorly in the United States, but it was quite popular overseas. The budget to produce this movie was $195 million and it only made $80 million in domestic profits. More than $330 million of the movie’s profits were made internationally.

5. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

The second movie in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise cost $200 million to produce and made four times as much in worldwide profits. It made nearly $390 million of that in the U.S.

4. “Transformers: The Last Knight”

The fifth movie of the “Transformers” series was the most expensive to produce, and it had the lowest profit. “Transformers: The Last Knight” cost $217 million to produce and made less than $604 million worldwide. The total gross of this movie is far behind “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which made $1.1 billion worldwide.

3. “Pirates of the Caribbean: 

Dead Men Tell No Tales”

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise is extremely popular and notoriously expensive — two of its movies are in the top 10 most expensive movies ever made. In addition to being slated third on this list, this movie is ranked 21 on the list of most expensive movies ever made, with a production budget of $230 million.

2. “The Fate of the Furious”

“The Fate of the Furious” is the eighth installment of “The Fast and Furious” series, currently the sixth-highest-grossing film series of all time. The eighth movie cost $250 million to produce and it made $1.2 billion worldwide.

1. “Justice League”

The most expensive movie made in 2017 was “Justice League,” with a production budget of $300 million. Despite being the most expensive on this list, it had one of the lower worldwide gross incomes at $655 million.

Every single one of these films is an action/adventure film. Action movies are often expensive to produce  because of all the behind-the-scene work and people involved. Trainers get the actors in shape to perform in action scenes. Most actors require a stunt double and many action movies involve special effects. Given that superhero movies seem to be all the rave, here is a look at the five most expensive Marvel movies ever made:

5. “Iron Man” (2008)

The first movie in the “Iron Man” series was the second most expensive to make with a production budget of $180 million, and it had the lowest worldwide gross income of all the “Iron Man” films at $585 million.

4. “Black Panther” (2018), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” (2017) and “Iron Man 3” (2013)

The fourth most expensive Marvel movie produced is a three-way tie between these movies, which had a budget of $200 million.

3. “The Avengers” (2012)

The first “Avengers” movie was the least expensive of the two, but the most profitable. It cost $225 million to produce and grossed $1.5 billion worldwide.

2. “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)

The second most expensive Marvel movie made more than four times its budget in worldwide profits. The budget for this movie was $250 million.

1. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

The second “Avengers” movie is the most expensive Marvel movie, with a production budget of $330 million. It is also the second highest-grossing Marvel movie behind the first “Avengers” movie.

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