We work with all budgets here at NEEDaFIXER, from heavily-financed music videos to budget documentaries and more.

And while we usually leave the blockbusters to Hollywood, we’ve worked on high-end movies and films with big investments as well as those with a smaller budget.

We enjoy being part of all films, no matter how big the money behind them.

But to start January off in style, we’ve researched the most expensive films ever made to inspire and wow us for the new year!

So, sit back, relax and browse 10 of the most expensive films ever made (we’re pretty sure you’ll have seen a few of them!).

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Probably the most expensive film ever made to date, the 2011 film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has a reported budget of $378.5 million.

Set in 1750, 16 years on from the setting of the previous Pirates of the Caribbean film, At World’s End (2007), the plot follows Jack Sparrow’s attempt to find the “Fountain of Youth”. Along the way, he finds enemies, challenges and, surprisingly, love.

A huge hit and a great watch, Johnny Depp was recorded to have earned around $55,500,000 for his starring role as Captain Jack Sparrow.

The movie was filmed in various locations, some of which had to be altered due to strong tides and the huge cost of filming in certain areas. Most of the film was shot in Hawaii and London, where the filmmakers could gain better tax rebates. The UK filming locations included in the film are London’s Pinewood Studios and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

The film was shot in 3D, which again, must have added significantly to the cost of production.

A well worth it investment? Aye!

  1. Avatar (2009)

Who’d have thought a film about a human-alien could be one of the most expensive films ever made?

Another 3D high-flyer that was co-edited by James Cameron and marketed as his own, Avatar is set to be part of a five-part film series. Avatar 2 is likely to be released in 2020 and is expected to have a budget of $250 million. The budget for the original Avatar was $237 million.

Cameron started to piece together the plot of Avatar in 1994. Essentially, it is an 80-page scientific story about humans colonizing Pandora (a star in the solar system) to mine the energy source unobtanium.

A whole new alien language was invented during the creation of this film, so it’s no surprise that the film took longer to create than Cameron had intended.

  1. Titanic (1997)

Released over a century ago, Titanic is another blockbuster from James Cameron that definitely had the potential to break the bank.

Most people are aware of this emotional storyline that follows Jack and Rose, a pair of lovers from completely different aristocratic classes, and the sinking of the Titanic.

The expensive part of this film production was the ship set, which was grand, luxurious and a huge part of the movie’s $200 million budget.

  1. Spectre (2015)

Directed by Sam Mendes, everybody expects the world from a Bond film. And, as expected, Spectre is a stunning film with adventure, excitement and one that certainly does not fail to impress! What’s more, it’s $245 million budget makes it another hugely expensive film to speak about.

The plot follows Bond’s fight against criminal organisation Spectre. The film was filmed in Mexico, Morocco, Italy and the UK, making it extremely expensive to create. The soaring cost was largely due to fact that many special effects were required to be added to the scenes. The computerisation in the movie was so significant, five different companies were used.

As a result, Spectre was the most expensive Bond film to date. In fact, it was one of the most expensive films ever produced across the globe.

  1. Tangled (2010)

In the true name of the film, the cost of Tangled was so high because it took the directors and producers a huge amount of time to get the story just right.

The movie is an animated story based on the fairy-tale Rapunzel and is Disney’s 50th animated feature film.

You may say that the storyline got a bit ‘tangled’ before the film was eventually released. It did make a profit after international recognition, but the profit was limited due to the $260 million budget spent on it. In total, the film took 10 years to make!

  1. John Carter (2012)

A Disney hit that cost a whopping $263.7 million, John Carter was released in 2012 and is another super-expensive American science fiction movie.

The story is based on A Princess of Mars (1917) and follows John Carter’s attempts to calm the civil unrest in opposing kingdoms in Barsoom.

Directed by Andrew Stanton, the film wasn’t as successful as hoped, and unfortunately, any plans for a sequel were cancelled.

  1. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spider-Man 3 was always bound to be a hit, particularly when you think about the incredible performances of previous Spider-Man movies.

Therefore, the $258 million spent on it was always going to be worth it!

Based on the Marvel Comics series, Spider-Man 3 features the villains Sandman and Venom. Sandman was seeking the vengeance of his father’s death, and Venom was added to the movie by the request of producer Avi Arad.

Directed by Sam Raimi, the movie’s 900 visual effects shots from Sony Pictures Imageworks significantly added to the overall cost.

  1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (2009)

With a budget of $250 million, any kind of magic was possible in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

The movie is the sixth Harry Potter movie and follows Harry when he falls in love, finds a mysterious book and tries to discover a memory that is the key to Lord Voldemort’s downfall.

A hit with kids and adults, the huge investment in a Harry Potter movie was a wise one!

  1. Batman v. Superman (2016)

An adrenaline-fuelled movie that also required mega bucks, Batman v. Superman’s massive budget of $250 million was a generous one, but it made a phenomenal movie that caught the attention of superheroes everywhere!

In this film, Batman (Ben Affleck) is manipulated into having a battle with Superman (Henry Cavill)! What greater risk could there be to the superhero world than that?

A marketing campaign of $165 million helped to promote the movie, and the box office income reached around $874 million in total!


  1. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

Last but not least, the overall cost of The Hobbit movies scoops a world record as the most expensive sequence of films. While the budget for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies was around $250 million, the collective budget for The Hobbit trilogy was $623 million after tax.

Based on the novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit was originally planned to be a two-part film, but the plans for the third film were confirmed on 30th July 2012.

Filming doesn’t have to be expensive

Even if you don’t have a blockbuster budget, NEEDaFIXER can help a variety of filmmakers produce their desired movie.

No matter which country you’re filming in and how much support you require, please feel free to contact us to enquire about working with our expert film fixers.