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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 $963,420,425
3 7/2/2013 The Lone Ranger $275,000,000 $89,289,910 $259,989,910
4 3/9/2012 John Carter $275,000,000 $73,058,679 $282,778,100
5 7/20/2012 The Dark Knight Rises $275,000,000 $448,139,099 $1,084,439,099
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 7/15/2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $250,000,000 $301,959,197 $935,083,686
9 12/14/2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $250,000,000 $303,003,568 $1,017,003,568
10 5/20/2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $250,000,000 $241,063,875 $1,045,663,875
11 12/13/2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $250,000,000 $258,366,855 $960,366,855
12 12/17/2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies $250,000,000 $255,119,788 $955,119,788
13 5/1/2015 The Avengers: Age of Ultron $250,000,000 $457,815,697 $1,403,515,697
14 6/28/2006 Superman Returns $232,000,000 $200,120,000 $374,085,065
15 11/14/2008 Quantum of Solace $230,000,000 $169,368,427 $591,692,078
16 5/4/2012 The Avengers $225,000,000 $623,279,547 $1,519,479,547
17 5/16/2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $225,000,000 $141,621,490 $417,341,288
18 7/7/2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $225,000,000 $423,315,812 $1,066,215,812
19 6/14/2013 Man of Steel $225,000,000 $291,045,518 $667,999,518
20 7/3/2012 The Amazing Spider-Man $220,000,000 $262,030,663 $757,890,267
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 6/30/1972 Deep Throat $25,000 $45,000,000 $45,000,000
4 8/1/1997 In the Company of Men $25,000 $2,856,622 $2,856,622
5 10/19/1994 Clerks $27,000 $2,852,326 $3,673,138
6 3/27/2015 The Salt of the Earth $44,936 $1,343,349 $2,325,559
7 8/9/1995 The Brothers McMullen $50,000 $10,202,068 $10,202,068
8 3/16/2001 Gabriela $50,000 $2,335,352 $2,335,352
9 5/7/2004 Super Size Me $65,000 $11,529,368 $22,233,808
10 7/10/1998 Pi $68,000 $3,216,970 $4,674,331
11 8/30/1972 The Last House on the Left $87,000 $3,100,000 $3,100,000
12 1/1/1977 Eraserhead $100,000 $7,000,000 $7,000,000
13 9/29/2006 Facing the Giants $100,000 $10,178,331 $10,243,159
14 3/1/1987 Hollywood Shuffle $100,000 $5,228,617 $5,228,617
15 10/9/1998 The Mighty $100,000 $2,643,689 $6,113,025
16 9/17/1920 Over the Hill to the Poorhouse $100,000 $3,000,000 $3,000,000
17 2/8/1915 The Birth of a Nation $110,000 $10,000,000 $11,000,000
18 10/1/1968 Night of the Living Dead $114,000 $12,000,000 $30,000,000
19 6/15/2012 Your Sister's Sister $120,000 $1,597,486 $3,090,593
20 11/16/1942 Cat People $134,000 $4,000,000 $8,000,000

Most Profitable Movies, Based on Absolute Profit on Worldwide Gross

 Release DateMovieApprox. IncomeApprox. ExpenseProfit
1 12/18/2009 Avatar $1,782,016,555 $516,262,000 $1,265,754,555
2 11/18/2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire $994,676,225 $208,064,000 $786,612,225
3 11/22/2013 Frozen $993,135,347 $245,904,000 $747,231,347
4 5/4/2012 The Avengers $986,666,365 $300,290,000 $686,376,365
5 7/15/2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II $830,396,407 $177,306,000 $653,090,407
6 7/2/2013 Despicable Me 2 $723,960,567 $143,056,000 $580,904,567
7 7/7/2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $856,572,077 $293,790,000 $562,782,077
8 7/18/2008 The Dark Knight $816,858,430 $263,340,000 $553,518,430
9 7/11/2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $726,365,061 $202,594,000 $523,771,061
10 6/18/2010 Toy Story 3 $779,813,483 $267,398,000 $512,415,483
11 6/15/1994 The Lion King $664,524,985 $197,724,000 $466,800,985
12 11/20/2009 The Twilight Saga: New Moon $565,782,933 $103,444,000 $462,338,933
13 7/2/2007 Transformers $656,663,317 $202,632,000 $454,031,317
14 11/19/2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I $632,634,969 $180,774,000 $451,860,969
15 6/30/2010 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse $566,677,180 $117,520,000 $449,157,180
16 5/24/2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End $799,851,582 $353,222,000 $446,629,582
17 5/3/2013 Iron Man 3 $689,056,450 $252,176,000 $436,880,450
18 6/29/2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $673,915,372 $241,684,000 $432,231,372
19 5/29/2009 Up $662,939,321 $235,552,000 $427,387,321
20 6/24/2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $690,310,502 $267,372,000 $422,938,502

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 $89,318,487 $450,000 19,749%
2 1/6/2012 The Devil Inside $37,316,634 $1,000,000 3,632%
3 2/5/1953 Peter Pan $139,747,607 $4,000,000 3,394%
4 6/16/1978 Grease $184,126,016 $6,000,000 2,969%
5 3/21/2014 God’s Not Dead $31,192,787 $1,150,000 2,612%
6 10/20/2010 Paranormal Activity 2 $77,144,539 $3,000,000 2,471%
7 4/1/2011 Insidious $34,384,568 $1,500,000 2,192%
8 12/15/1974 Young Frankenstein $57,502,928 $2,800,000 1,954%
9 1/1/1946 It's a Wonderful Life $60,509,314 $3,180,000 1,803%
10 10/23/1992 Reservoir Dogs $22,452,279 $1,200,000 1,771%
11 6/20/1975 Jaws $222,507,418 $12,000,000 1,754%
12 10/3/2014 Annabelle $98,018,258 $6,500,000 1,408%
13 11/13/1991 Beauty and the Beast $287,215,249 $20,000,000 1,336%
14 11/26/2010 The King’s Speech $196,291,103 $15,000,000 1,209%
15 6/29/2012 Magic Mike $89,564,448 $7,000,000 1,179%
16 6/6/2014 The Fault in Our Stars $146,246,012 $12,000,000 1,119%
17 6/7/2013 The Purge $35,912,344 $3,000,000 1,097%
18 11/12/2008 Slumdog Millionaire $163,347,385 $14,000,000 1,067%
19 12/3/2010 Black Swan $148,122,423 $13,000,000 1,039%
20 6/5/2009 The Hangover $380,425,910 $35,000,000 987%

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 $26,175,913 $170,166,000 -$143,990,087
2 3/9/2012 John Carter $178,594,678 $307,124,000 -$128,529,322
3 7/2/2013 The Lone Ranger $175,380,871 $301,886,000 -$126,505,129
4 3/1/2013 Jack the Giant Slayer $122,739,450 $228,504,000 -$105,764,550
5 12/17/2010 How Do You Know? $35,498,813 $140,454,000 -$104,955,187
6 12/25/2013 47 Ronin $91,551,426 $189,988,000 -$98,436,574
7 2/6/2015 Jupiter Ascending $108,708,023 $206,582,000 -$97,873,977
8 7/19/2013 R.I.P.D. $54,353,966 $147,884,000 -$93,530,034
9 11/23/2011 Hugo $124,086,886 $215,796,000 -$91,709,114
10 6/22/2007 Evan Almighty $125,391,753 $212,964,000 -$87,572,247
11 5/9/2008 Speed Racer $69,167,016 $149,420,000 -$80,252,984
12 2/12/2010 The Wolfman $98,080,994 $174,496,000 -$76,415,006
13 5/12/2006 Poseidon $118,047,119 $194,338,000 -$76,290,881
14 8/17/2007 The Invasion $24,954,249 $96,162,000 -$71,207,751
15 5/9/2014 Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return $11,813,649 $82,674,000 -$70,860,351
16 6/17/2011 Green Lantern $161,716,025 $231,524,000 -$69,807,975
17 11/1/2013 Ender's Game $70,468,457 $139,462,000 -$68,993,543
18 1/16/2015 Blackhat $12,156,459 $80,742,000 -$68,585,541
19 4/18/2014 Transcendence $52,442,017 $120,016,000 -$67,573,983
20 11/18/2011 Happy Feet Two $107,245,003 $171,970,000 -$64,724,997

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.