Setting a film's budget is tough business. There are so many moving parts that trying to nail down an accurate price tag ahead of time is a bit of a crapshoot. Now, in saying that, some films come in right around where they were budgeted. It happens. Things also go the other way. Movies are budgeted long before things go wrong. You can account for some issues but not everything, and on some movies, everything does go wrong. Scenes need to be reshot, the cast needs more money, the time-frame needs to be extended and locations need to be changed; any number of things can impact the cost of a film, which is why it's so hard to predict.
But we're not looking at the films that went a little over budget. We're looking at the ones who destroyed their budgets. We want the films that make the person who recorded the initial budget look like a complete failure. It's failure we're celebrating here. For some of these movies, going over budget led to a better movie being made, and because of that, more people watched and appreciated the film. Some, sadly, were of the other kind. The films that went insanely over budget and still flopped. Even though these types of films are rare, we still have a number of them to discuss. You've got to wonder how these go for the filmmakers responsible. You know what? If we have the information, we'll even take a quick look at how the careers of those involved were affected by their failures in those specific cases. Here are 15 Films That Went Massively Over Budget.
14 Evan Almighty
13 The Lone Ranger
11 Apocalypse Now
10 47 Ronin
9 Hunger Games: Catching Fire
7 John Carter
6 World War Z
3 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
In 1963, Cleopatra was the highest-grossing film of the year, and yet it still lost money. That's pretty difficult to do. The plan was simple in the beginning. They were going to make a $2 million film but the filmmakers wanted to make it bigger so they asked for $7 million. That was before everything started to fall apart. Elizabeth Taylor's salary alone started at $1 million, which was the largest of its kind at the time. However, after all the incredible delays (and her almost dying), Taylor would make close to $7 million (about $55 million today). The film started shooting in London under director Rouben Mamoulian. He ballooned the budget up to about $12 million before he departed from the film entirely. Joseph L. Mankiewicz came on to fix the film, but he found that nothing that was shot could be used, mainly because some of the actors had left when the shoot ran over schedule. This meant that $12 million in production costs had been wasted. The shoot was moved to Rome and many of the sets and costumes had to be recreated. In the end, it cost about $44 million to make the film. That, our dearest friends, is 22 times over what the initial budget was.
Sources: Gizmodo; IMDB; NYFA
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