With a career spanning 30 years and three Oscar nominations, it’s impossible not to know who Johnny Depp is. Born in Kentucky in 1963 the actor has gone from TV star, to the poster boy of cult film to one of the highest paid blockbuster stars of our time. Known for playing a plethora of weird and quirky characters, Johnny Depp is a firm fan favourite; along with his striking good looks and unconventional lifestyle Depp has truly cemented himself as one of the acting icons of our generation. So to pay tribute to the star and his long and illustrious career here is the list of his most expensive movies.
10. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, $50 Million
Released in 2007, Sweeney Todd was an adaptation of the Tony award winning musical of the same name. Directed and starring the weird and wonderful creative threesome that is Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp, this horror musical about a barber and baker’s gruesome partnership proved very successful with the film grossing over $152 million during its theater release.
9. The Tourist, $100 Million
This 2010 film featured two of the most bankable stars in Hollywood, and with a massive budget of $100 this comedy/thriller was expected to do very well with audiences and critics alike. Starring Depp alongside Angelina Jolie, The Tourist follows the story of Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy. While travelling to Venice Frank meets Elise, a mysterious woman who ends up embroiling Frank in her criminal past and cunning plan to get out of being arrested. The Tourist received generally poor reviews from critics, however it raked in an impressive $278 million at the box office and managed to garner three Golden Globe nominations in the comedy category which caused some debate among voters. It was ultimately decided that the film was more of a comedy than drama when director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck admitted that despite the fact that he saw it as neither, if he had to pick he would call The Tourist a comedy.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, $140 Million
The idea that a theme park ride could spawn a multimillion dollar movie franchise sounds ridiculous, but for producer and director team Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer this literally was a million dollar idea. The original Pirates of the Caribbean ride was opened in Disney Land in 1967 and was the last attraction to be constructed under the supervision of Walt Disney himself, today the attraction is one of the best known and most popular Disneyland rides and can be found in four of the international theme parks. The Curse of the Black Pearl was the first in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie trilogy which starred Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. The story follows Captain Sparrow and blacksmith Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) as they try to rescue Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) from the cursed crew of the Black Pearl. The film, which was released in 2003, got a very positive reception from both critics and audiences alike and grossed a massive $654 million internationally.
7. Dark Shadows, $150 Million
Johnny Depp and Tim Burton joined forces once again in 2012 for the movie Dark Shadows, which was based on the gothic soap opera of the same name which aired during the 60’s and 70’s. Like many of Burton’s films, Dark Shadows was a quirky gothic comedy, that featured his unique dialogue and style as well as an instantly recognisable score by Danny Elfman. In it Depp plays imprisoned vampire Barnabas Collins, who is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection. The movie was expected to do well, however it received largely negative reviews from critics due to lack of a substantial plot and undeveloped characters, it still managed to make a profit and grossed quite an impressive $245 million.
6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, $150 Million
In 2005 there was yet another Burton-Depp collaboration, which came in the form of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This was the second adaptation of the popular Roald Dahl book of the same name, the first being Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory which was released in 1971 and starred Gene Wilder as the eccentric Willy Wonka. Wilder’s performance became iconic, however it has since become widely known that Dahl disapproved of the now classic film and refused the rights to allow any further films to be made. Eventually Warner Bros managed to obtain the rights to make another film and, after a lot of negotiation and change, Burton became the director in 2003, casting Depp as Willy Wonka. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory received rave reviews and proved very successful with audiences grossing $475 million worldwide.
5. Alice in Wonderland, $200 Million
Released in 2010, Alice in Wonderland is by far the highest grossing collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton. Starring Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Depp as the Mad Hatter, as well as a plethora of other big stars like Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter, Alice in Wonderland was an ambitious film that received mixed reviews from critics. However, the film managed to gross over $1 billion worldwide, making it the 2nd highest grossing film of 2010 and 16th highest grossing film of all time. It also garnered some critical acclaim when it won two Academy Awards for best art direction and costume design.
4. The Lone Ranger, $215 Million
Based on the radio series of the same name, the Lone Ranger starred Depp as Tonto and was directed and produced by the duo behind the hugely successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer. The 2013 film was the first adaptation of the well known Lone Ranger tale in over 32 years and with so many big names linked to it, it could have been a huge hit. Instead the Lone Ranger was a commercial failure, getting largely negative reviews and failing to garner much attention at the box office. The film had a production budget of $215 million but it was its large marketing budget of $150 million that caused the film to be the biggest flop of the year. The Lone Ranger only made $89 million domestically and a total of $260 million worldwide.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, $225 Million
Released in 2005, Dead Man’s Chest was the second film in the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, in it Captain Jack Sparrow and Will Turner join forces once more on their hunt for the dead man’s chest. The idea for this was conceived after the success of The Curse of the Black Pearl and a story arc was developed for two sequels, which were shot back to back. Dead Man’s Chest got slightly more mixed reviews than its predecessor but it managed to garner quite a lot more box office success earning over $1 billion internationally, making it the fastest film to ever gross that much. It is currently the 11th highest grossing film of all time and it held the record for the highest grossing film released by Walt Disney Studios until The Avengers was released in 2012.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, $250 Million
After the phenomenal success of the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, producers hinted at the idea of a possible spinoff movie which would follow a completely new story and feature new characters. In 2011 the fourth instalment of the franchise was released with Depp still in the leading role as Captain Jack Sparrow, his original sidekick played by Orlando Bloom did not return, and instead was replaced by Penelope Cruz who played Angelica. The film’s plot was inspired by Tim Powers’ novel On Stranger Tides, and follows Captain Jack and Angelica on their search for the fountain of youth and the infamous pirate Black Beard. Critics bashed the film for lack of originality, however it still proved very lucrative and has spawned another sequel which is set for release in 2016.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, $300 Million
Not only is At World’s End the most expensive movie to star Johnny Depp. Released in 2007 it was the third instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean and was the last to feature Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom. The plot follows Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew as they prepare to take on Davy Jones and like the other instalments it relied heavily on special effects and makeup rather than a substantial plot to impress viewers. The film received generally mixed reviews but it was still a box office hit and was the highest grossing film of 2007, proving that Depp truly is one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood.
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