Movie Budget and Financial Performance Records

Note: Budget numbers for movies can be both difficult to find and unreliable. Studios often try to keep the information secret and will use accounting tricks to inflate or reduce announced budgets.

The data we have is, to the best of our knowledge, accurate but there are gaps and disputed figures. If you have additional information or corrections, please let us know at corrections@the-numbers.com.

A complete list of all movies for which we have budget information can be found here.

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services.

Biggest Budgets

 Release DateMovieProduction BudgetDomestic GrossWorldwide Gross
1 12/18/2009 Avatar $425,000,000 $760,507,625 $2,783,918,982
2 5/24/2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End $300,000,000 $309,420,425 $960,996,492
3 7/20/2012 The Dark Knight Rises $275,000,000 $448,139,099 $1,079,343,943
4 3/9/2012 John Carter $275,000,000 $73,058,679 $282,778,100
5 7/2/2013 The Lone Ranger $275,000,000 $89,289,910 $259,989,910
6 11/24/2010 Tangled $260,000,000 $200,821,936 $586,581,936
7 5/4/2007 Spider-Man 3 $258,000,000 $336,530,303 $890,875,303
8 12/17/2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies $250,000,000 $0 $0
9 12/13/2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $250,000,000 $258,366,855 $950,466,855
10 5/20/2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $250,000,000 $241,063,875 $1,043,663,875
11 7/15/2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $250,000,000 $301,959,197 $934,416,487
12 12/14/2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $250,000,000 $303,003,568 $1,014,703,568
13 6/28/2006 Superman Returns $232,000,000 $200,120,000 $390,874,000
14 11/14/2008 Quantum of Solace $230,000,000 $169,368,427 $591,692,078
15 6/14/2013 Man of Steel $225,000,000 $291,045,518 $667,999,518
16 7/7/2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $225,000,000 $423,315,812 $1,060,615,812
17 5/16/2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $225,000,000 $141,621,490 $419,490,286
18 5/4/2012 The Avengers $225,000,000 $623,279,547 $1,514,279,547
19 7/3/2012 The Amazing Spider-Man $220,000,000 $262,030,663 $757,890,267
20 5/25/2012 Men in Black 3 $215,000,000 $179,020,854 $624,821,154
See the complete list

Movies With Lowest Budgets to Earn $1 Million at US Box Office

 Release DateMovieProduction BudgetDomestic GrossWorldwide Gross
1 2/26/1993 El Mariachi $7,000 $2,040,920 $2,041,928
2 8/1/1991 Slacker $23,000 $1,227,508 $1,227,508
3 8/1/1997 In the Company of Men $25,000 $2,883,661 $2,883,661
4 6/30/1972 Deep Throat $25,000 $45,000,000 $45,000,000
5 10/19/1994 Clerks $27,000 $3,073,428 $3,894,240
6 3/16/2001 Gabriela $50,000 $2,335,352 $2,335,352
7 8/9/1995 The Brothers McMullen $50,000 $10,426,506 $10,426,506
8 5/7/2004 Super Size Me $65,000 $11,529,368 $22,233,808
9 7/10/1998 Pi $68,000 $3,221,152 $4,678,513
10 8/30/1972 The Last House on the Left $87,000 $3,100,000 $3,100,000
11 9/17/1920 Over the Hill to the Poorhouse $100,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000
12 10/9/1998 The Mighty $100,000 $2,652,246 $6,121,582
13 3/1/1987 Hollywood Shuffle $100,000 $5,228,617 $5,228,617
14 9/29/2006 Facing the Giants $100,000 $10,178,331 $10,243,159
15 1/1/1977 Eraserhead $100,000 $7,000,000 $7,000,000
16 2/8/1915 The Birth of a Nation $110,000 $10,000,000 $11,000,000
17 10/1/1968 Night of the Living Dead $114,000 $12,000,000 $30,000,000
18 6/15/2012 Your Sister's Sister $120,000 $1,597,486 $3,090,593
19 11/16/1942 Cat People $134,000 $4,000,000 $8,000,000
20 10/18/1974 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre $140,000 $26,572,439 $26,572,439

Most Profitable Movies, Based on Absolute Profit on Worldwide Gross

 Release DateMovieApprox. IncomeApprox. ExpenseProfit
1 12/18/2009 Avatar $1,779,623,135 $516,262,000 $1,263,361,135
2 11/18/2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire $993,956,226 $208,064,000 $785,892,226
3 5/4/2012 The Avengers $975,254,903 $300,290,000 $674,964,903
4 11/22/2013 Frozen $906,947,253 $245,904,000 $661,043,253
5 7/15/2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II $822,726,440 $177,306,000 $645,420,440
6 7/7/2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $854,679,332 $293,790,000 $560,889,332
7 7/2/2013 Despicable Me 2 $699,326,721 $143,056,000 $556,270,721
8 7/18/2008 The Dark Knight $817,438,659 $263,340,000 $554,098,659
9 7/11/2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $725,674,378 $202,594,000 $523,080,378
10 6/18/2010 Toy Story 3 $779,764,491 $267,398,000 $512,366,491
11 11/20/2009 The Twilight Saga: New Moon $577,070,658 $103,444,000 $473,626,658
12 7/2/2007 Transformers $656,440,309 $202,632,000 $453,808,309
13 11/19/2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I $632,428,883 $180,774,000 $451,654,883
14 6/30/2010 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $564,543,027 $117,520,000 $447,023,027
15 5/24/2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End $798,235,390 $353,222,000 $445,013,390
16 6/15/1994 The Lion King $638,254,574 $197,724,000 $440,530,574
17 5/3/2013 Iron Man 3 $684,811,966 $252,176,000 $432,635,966
18 6/29/2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $672,855,200 $241,684,000 $431,171,200
19 6/24/2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $692,786,360 $267,372,000 $425,414,360
20 7/1/2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $563,418,398 $138,280,000 $425,138,398

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services.

Most Profitable Movies, Based on Return on Investment

 Release DateMovieApprox. ProfitProduction BudgetRoI
1 9/25/2009 Paranormal Activity $89,791,868 $450,000 19,854%
2 1/6/2012 The Devil Inside $36,962,660 $1,000,000 3,596%
3 2/5/1953 Peter Pan $142,078,854 $4,000,000 3,452%
4 6/16/1978 Grease $189,685,368 $6,000,000 3,061%
5 10/20/2010 Paranormal Activity 2 $77,232,210 $3,000,000 2,474%
6 4/1/2011 Insidious $33,942,854 $1,500,000 2,163%
7 12/15/1974 Young Frankenstein $58,870,284 $2,800,000 2,003%
8 6/20/1975 Jaws $220,429,628 $12,000,000 1,737%
9 10/23/1992 Reservoir Dogs $20,814,080 $1,200,000 1,635%
10 11/13/1991 Beauty and the Beast $280,556,694 $20,000,000 1,303%
11 11/26/2010 The King’s Speech $196,373,799 $15,000,000 1,209%
12 6/29/2012 Magic Mike $84,079,070 $7,000,000 1,101%
13 6/7/2013 The Purge $35,392,051 $3,000,000 1,080%
14 11/12/2008 Slumdog Millionaire $162,912,028 $14,000,000 1,064%
15 12/3/2010 Black Swan $148,111,997 $13,000,000 1,039%
16 1/1/1946 It's a Wonderful Life $35,191,843 $3,180,000 1,007%
17 6/5/2009 The Hangover $384,751,357 $35,000,000 999%
18 8/27/2010 The Last Exorcism $19,069,435 $1,800,000 959%
19 6/6/2014 The Fault in Our Stars $123,771,684 $12,000,000 931%
20 5/25/2012 Chernobyl Diaries $10,271,401 $1,000,000 927%

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services.

Biggest Money Losers, Based on Absolute Loss on Worldwide Earnings

 Release DateMovieApprox. IncomeApprox. ExpenseProfit
1 3/11/2011 Mars Needs Moms $26,088,724 $170,166,000 $-144,077,276
2 3/9/2012 John Carter $178,098,752 $307,124,000 $-129,025,248
3 7/2/2013 The Lone Ranger $174,475,668 $301,886,000 $-127,410,332
4 3/1/2013 Jack the Giant Slayer $122,676,721 $228,504,000 $-105,827,279
5 12/17/2010 How Do You Know? $35,165,802 $140,454,000 $-105,288,198
6 12/25/2013 47 Ronin $90,173,081 $189,988,000 $-99,814,919
7 7/19/2013 R.I.P.D. $53,623,223 $147,884,000 $-94,260,777
8 11/23/2011 Hugo $127,030,471 $215,796,000 $-88,765,529
9 6/22/2007 Evan Almighty $125,120,810 $212,964,000 $-87,843,190
10 5/12/2006 Poseidon $110,650,808 $194,338,000 $-83,687,192
11 5/9/2008 Speed Racer $69,136,984 $149,420,000 $-80,283,016
12 5/9/2014 Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return $5,332,485 $82,674,000 $-77,341,515
13 2/12/2010 The Wolfman $98,379,523 $174,496,000 $-76,116,477
14 8/17/2007 The Invasion $24,966,375 $96,162,000 $-71,195,625
15 11/1/2013 Ender's Game $68,663,220 $139,462,000 $-70,798,780
16 6/17/2011 Green Lantern $161,801,262 $231,524,000 $-69,722,738
17 4/18/2014 Transcendence $51,423,584 $120,016,000 $-68,592,416
18 11/18/2011 Happy Feet Two $107,262,361 $171,970,000 $-64,707,639
19 6/5/2009 Land of the Lost $61,680,644 $126,046,000 $-64,365,356
20 7/29/2011 Cowboys and Aliens $138,957,034 $200,054,000 $-61,096,966

Note: The profit and loss figures are very rough estimates based on domestic and international box office earnings and domestic video sales, extrapolated to estimate worldwide income to the studio, after deducting retail costs. Estimated expenses are based on the domestic theatrical distribution pattern of the film. More detailed financial analysis of films is available through our research services.