I have looked on the official list of the top ten most expensive films to make (10 being a six-way tie), and I have to say that I am VERY surprised at how expensive many films have been compared to their quality. Out of all 15 movies on the top 10 list (six-way tie for 10th and two-way tie for 5th), 11 of the films on the list sucked. The 4 that were good are Avatar (4th), Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (5th), Titanic (T-10th) and Quantum of Solace (T-10th). The top 5 most expensive films are, in order, as follows: 1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (300 mil.), 2. Spider-Man 3 ($258 mil.), 3. Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince ($250 mil.), 4. Avatar ($237 mil.), 5. Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest ($225 mil.).
With this information, I realized how much people will pay just to see films that look good and just seem entertaining and not as much of a story or character-driven film. The films that are on this list for most expensive are respectable, but most of them were not good, whatsoever.
I have also looked at the films that cost the least to make, from the Michael Henry manipulative drama Ennui (which cost $332 to make) to the alright film that was The Last Broadcast ($900), the VERY well made and sad masterful film that was Zero Day ($20,000) to the very creative and intriguing film that was Primer ($7,000). Other movies on this list are Stephen Lynch’s Eraserhead ($20,000), Deep Throat ($22,500), Edward Burns’ masterful The Brother’s McMullen ($23,800), The Blair Witch Project ($25,000) and Kevin Smith’s Clerks ($27,575). It seems that the lower the budget, the better the film, for they are more independent and go further back to their roots.
Films like 2009’s Moon ($5 mil.) really show the strength in a lower budget since it is easier to focus on the quality of the film than a movie built on graphics such as *cough* Transformers 2 ($200 mil.) *cough*. So the way I figure it, if there is a movie you want to see that actually LOOKS good and it has a budget of under $8 million, by all means, SEE IT. But if there is a cool, hip new movie that has a $200 million budget and over and doesn’t look too great, by all means, DO NOT SEE IT. Unless there is a film that has, like, a $1 Billion budget, then don’t go out and see it unless it is a DVD impulse. Because you have to admit, a $1 Billion budget film will be amazing.