Budgets for Hollywood movies can get pretty intense. Of course, action flicks, superhero movies, and anything with lots of explosions and inhuman characters is likely to rack up quite a lot of expenses. That being said, it’s really the CGI effects that cost A LOT of pennies. Most movies with these kinds of effects make for a pretty intense and incredible cinematic experience, but has anyone ever wondered just how much the best effects out there actually cost? Here’s a list of 10 of the most expensive movies ever made, largely because of their CGI effects.
10 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) – Budget: $170 Million
This is the newest addition to this iconic franchise, and it turns out that visually creating dinosaurs greatly contributes to a movie’s production budget. With Chris Pratt, this sci-fi action movie spent nearly $200 million on its final product. Obviously, dinosaurs require CGI in this day and age, so there isn’t much chance of avoiding the cost of visual effects for this movie. However, the crew managed to spend *only* $170 million, most of which was directed towards CGI costs.
9 Alice in Wonderland (2010) – $200 Million
This movie might never had originally struck movie fans as an expensive one, but it isn’t hard to see how much CGI was necessary to make this film.
While the costuming and makeup was certainly spectacular, CGI was heavily used for every creature and a lot of the setting material. Of course, this movie ended up using a budget of around $200 million to bring viewers into its world of insanity and visual effects.
8 King Kong (2005) – Budget: $207 Million
Directed by the brilliant Peter Jackson, this classic movie definitely cost a lot to make, because it turns out it can pretty expensive to create a giant gorilla with CGI effects. With a total budget of $207 million, most of this cost went towards the creation of King Kong, as well as the effects of the explosions and helicopter crashes. However, this movie did bring in around $550 million in worldwide gross, so at the very least, they doubled their money despite putting a whole ton of coin into CGI effects.
7 Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) – Budget: $217 Million
In the fifth movie of this popular alien robot franchise, one could imagine it cost quite a lot to create effects for these transforming machines. In fact, it does, and the budget for this movie was over $200 million. The junkyard scene in this movie cost $15 million alone, which was largely created with CGI effects. Starring Mark Wahlberg, director Michael Bay still took the reigns, and is well-known for spending a lot of coin on his visual effects.
6 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) – Budget: $225 Million
Directed by Peter Jackson, this is another movie that excelled greatly with costumes and makeup, but there were certainly parts of this classic tale that needed visual effects. For starters, Smaug himself (brilliant voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) required CGI effects in order to create the visual masterpiece of the thieving scene at the Lonely Mountain. One can imagine that most of their budget of $225 million was used for CGI effects of characters, setting, and most definitely all of the fire and *desolation*.
5 Avatar (2009) – Budget: $237 Million
This movie became the pinnacle of brilliant CGI and effects in Hollywood. This James Cameron directed film cost A LOT to make, and it’s probably because the movie is pretty much entirely CGI, because, obviously, the people are blue and the entire planet of Pandora is created by visual effects. However, it certainly paid off, because despite being one of the most expensive movies in terms of CGI costs, it also is one of the highest-grossing movies, with a worldwide gross of $760.5 million.
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) – Budget: $250 Million
This is the fourth part to this infamous franchise starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. This movie involves a lot of characters that require a lot of CGI effects, and the entire film also takes place on the ocean with ghost ships and crews. Of course, this is also the movie with the Fountain of Youth.
In total, this movie cost around $250 million, most of which was dedicated towards visual effects. Obviously, pirates and boats cost a lot to create for the big screen.
3 Spider-Man 3 (2007) – Budget: $258 Million
While the third part of Sam Raimi’s series didn’t do super well with the critics, it still cost a lot of money to make. Between web-slinging, explosions, and the effects for Venom and the Sandman, this movie racked up a production budget of $258 million. This is one pretty expensive Spider-Man flick, but it did almost make a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Still, this movie goes to show how expensive superhero movies are, and that CGI is definitely quite the cost.
2 Superman Returns (2006) – Budget: $270 Million
It’s probably not surprising that the highest costing films on this list are superhero movies. In this Bryan Singer directed flick, there was a lot of CGI used for the scenes on the planet, Krypton. In fact, one of the deleted scenes for the film on Superrman’s home planet cost $10 million in CGI effects. That’s a pretty expensive deleted scene. Obviously, filming a superhero flying in outer space racks up quite the bill on visual effects, but this movie definitely pulled its own weight at the box office.
1 The Avengers: Endgame (2019) – Budget: $356 Million
Marvel movies are notorious for costing a lot of dough. While Avengers: Age of Ultron is known for having some popular scenes that cost the most money, the budget of this Avengers film blew the others out of the water. Thanos himself required a lot of CGI, and obviously most of the superhero effects are also visually created. As a result, the budget for this movie certainly skyrocketed. It’s likely that the Russo Brothers were probably okay with that, though, since this movie pulled in almost $3 billion worldwide.
NEXT: 10 Things In MCU Movies You Didn’t Know Were CGI