5 Movies That Went Grossly Over Budget

Sunday, October 30 by Karen Lac

The characters in our listing of 5 movies that went grossly over budget include a blue-tailed, human-like babe, one of the world's most famous queens, an aspiring rock music reporter and a lovesick immigrant on a doomed ship. Some of these movies went on to achieve riches at the box offices and awards ceremonies while others still remain in the red. Here's a look at some of the most famous movies that went over their budgets:

"Cleopatra"

"Cleopatra," starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, didn't just go a little over budget, it went way over budget. The original cost of the film went from $2 million to a staggering $44 million—keep in mind that this was in 1963. Twentieth Century Fox unwisely chose not to scrap the movie when its first director, Rouben Mamoulian, spent $7 million to produce ten minutes of usable footage. Taylor herself pocketed a cool million for her role as Egypt's most famous woman. Unfortunately, the large budget didn't correlate into success with the box office or critics. This movie that went grossly over budget is known now for bringing together Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

"Titanic"

James Cameron's "Titanic" catapulted Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into worldwide stardom. Originally budgeted at $100 million, "Titanic" eventually cost about $200 million. It paid off in the end though, with the movie nabbing eleven Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. To this day, "Titanic" remains a favorite tear-jerker among countless women and, even if they won't admit it, men.

"Almost Famous"

"Almost Famous" went about $15 million over budget, with a final price tag of more than $60 million. While Cameron Crowe's story about a young man getting caught up in the rock and roll lifestyle while writing for "Rolling Stone" received critical acclaim and made a star out of Kate Hudson, it failed to bring in the money. After being released for a month, the movie made just $23 million. Crowe received $7 million to write, produce and direct the movie. The music budget was $3.5 million, compared to the typical $1.5 million music budget for a major film. 

"Avatar"

James Cameron went over budget again with 2009's "Avatar." The exact price tag for the 3D science fiction movie is unclear, but it's estimated to be around $280 million. In the end, studio executives weren't fixated on how much Cameron went over budget, considering that the movie grossed so much money at the box office, received critical acclaim and won several Academy Awards.

"Apocalypse Now"

Another movie that went grossly over budget is Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now." Originally budgeted at $12 million, the movie ballooned to a cost of $30 million. Luckily for Coppola, the movie made enough money to recoup the costs within eighteen months of its release, received critical acclaim and is a certified cult favorite.