In 1995, Waterworld broke the bank when its initial budget was approved at $100 million. A few years later, Titanic left port with a $200 million budget. At the time, Hollywood numbers guys watched the situation and wondered if these massive budgets would sink their studios, how could a movie possibly be successful enough to justify such expenditures? How quaint. Nearly 20 years later, another movie project is shaping up to be the most expensive of all time, and if the those studio bean counters from the Titanic days saw the price tag, they’d probably have a heart attack. And the name of that project is Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Forbes is reporting that Batman V. Superman, as of right now, has a budget of $410 million. That price tag for the DC Comics superhero film, if true, will make Dawn of Justice the most expensive movie of all time, besting the previous record holder Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. On top of that, the two-part Justice League film, which is reportedly in pre-production in London, will have an initial budget of $500 million for a 16-month shoot.
For the record, Man of Steel tapped out at $225 million, and that is a little less than the cost of The Dark Knight Rises, which cost about $250 million in 2012. So when you combine the budgets, you basically get the cost of Batman V. Superman, while also getting Wonder Woman and all those other heroes for free. But why the humongous budget? Well, there are a lot of major actors attached, not the least of which is Ben Affleck who probably demanded a pretty penny to suit up as a superhero again. There’s also the fact that by the time the film is released it will have been in production for almost three years, and that’s a lot to pay for from pre-production to post.
It’s worth noting that these gigantic budgets are not isolated to Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. A report out of New York Comic-Con said that Marvel Studios is looking at a $1 billion price tag for Avengers: Infinity War Parts 1 and 2. With people talking about comic book movie fatigue, are these prices going to be sustainable? I guess we’ll see.
Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters everywhere on March 25, 2016.