There’s little doubt Avengers: Infinity War will be the biggest film yet in Marvel Studios’ expansive canon, but it doesn’t look to take the prize as the most expensive movie ever. That crown looks to remain with Captain Jack Sparrow.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting Infinity War’s budget at “close to $300 million,” which is still an absolutely mind-boggling budget for a tentpole flim, but nowhere near what Disney reportedly spent on one of those Pirates of the Caribbean sequels. The studio spent a staggering $378 million on 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. That might seem like an insane amount of money for a pirate flick, but On Stranger Tides made $1 billion worldwide, so it’s hard to argue it wasn’t money well spent.
Turning the spotlight back to Infinity War, Marvel could likely spend a whole lot more and still turn a tidy profit and then some on the superhero epic. The latest Avengers team-up is projected to open as high as the $220-240 million range this weekend (with a chance to knock off The Force Awakens’ $248 million for the biggest opening in history), and will almost certainly rocket to at least $1 billion worldwide quickly. Early, unsubstantiated reports noted Avengers: Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4 could cost as much as $1 billion combined to produce, but it seems that number might’ve been on the high side (unless Marvel is saving its change for a $700 million Avengers 4).
Looking a bit deeper at the superhero genre, Infinity War obviously might not be the most expensive movie out there — but it does look to be one of most expensive superhero flicks ever put on the screen up to this point. It’s only trending a bit higher than Avengers: Age of Ultron’s $279 million budget, and there are scattered reports that Warner Bros. spent at least that on Justice League once all the dust settled on the film’s extensive reshoots. For the sake of reference, most typical Marvel solo flicks hover around the $200 million budget mark. So the studio dropping around $300 million for a team-up feels like a natural progression.
Avengers: Infinity War opens this weekend.