The film industry, one of the most expensive industries in the world, has steadily increased its revenues and production costs to keep pace with technological demands and new content for viewers and filmmakers alike. For this reason, most of the films on this list are from recent years. With big-budget Hollywood movie companies like Disney, Amazon, and Universal buying up and using all the smaller names in cinema, it's easy to see how the films on this list, especially all the Disney-owned films, got here.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Production cost - USD 447 million
With the highest budget and biggest domestic box office grosses on this list, Star Wars: The Force Awakens steals the show and deepens the already full pockets of Lucasfilm, i.e. Disney. As the first in the new Star Wars trilogy, audience anticipation was extremely high. Knowing this, the studio took the safe route and made the plot quite similar to Star Wars: A New Hope. Although viewers recognized this, audiences returned again and again to see it in theaters, enjoying the powerful visual effects and the film grossed $936 million in domestic box office earnings.
2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
Production cost - USD 432 million
One of the sillier movies on this list, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is what happens when you give a huge CGI budget to dinosaurs: two hours of big explosions, big dinosaurs, and a very thin plot. Although the visual effects and computer graphics (CGI) were perfect for this film, the mediocre writing seemed like an afterthought for the studio. Fortunately, audiences will always want to see more dinosaur action, so the Jurassic Park film franchise has a promising future.
3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Production cost - USD 416 million
One of the three Star Wars financial giants on this list, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, didn't perform as well as the studio had hoped. As the third and final part of the new Star Wars trilogy, audience expectations were high and the pressure on the studio was even greater. Overall, the film performed well, but barely made any net profits.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Production cost - USD 379 million
One of the least successful contributions to the film franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, continues the saga but ultimately falls short of its financial goal. At $379 million and making $241 million domestically, it seems like Johnny Depp was the only one to benefit from this considering he earned $55 million for the role and $265 million for all five films combined.
5. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Production cost - USD 365 million
At the top of this list is what you might expect: Avengers: Age of Ultron has the highest budget of all the Avengers ensemble films. Although it was not as successful as the following two parts, the cost of the CGI and added visual effects can be clearly seen in the third act of the film.