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Monday, April 12, 2010

The ten most expensive films of all time

1. Avatar - $500 million (£332 million)

Released in the UK last December, the 3D epic from director James Cameron has broken box office records to become the highest grossing film of all time, taking over $2 billion (£1.3 billion) at the box office worldwide. It has grossed £87 million in the UK. The storyline, which has drawn comparisons with the War on Terror and the US-led invasion of Iraq, charts the attempt by humans to exploit the resources of an alien planet populated by a species known as Na'vi. Humans from a large mining company interact with the Na'Vi using genetically engineered "avatar" bodies.

Avatar was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End - $300 million (£199 million)

The third film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, based on a theme park ride at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, was the most successful film at the box office in 2007. It grossed $960 million at the box office worldwide. A fourth film in the long-running franchise, which has grossed a total of $2.79 billion (£1.8 billion) worldwide, is called Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. It is scheduled to be released next year. The films star Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards for make-up and visual effects.

3. Titanic - $285 million (£189 million)

At the time of its release, Titanic was the most expensive film ever made, and went on to become the highest grossing of all time, a title it held until Avatar was released. The romantic/disaster movie, directed and produced by James Cameron, cost $200 million (£132 million) to make and earned $1.8 billion (£1.2 billion) worldwide. The film is due to be re-released next year in 3D.

It was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won 11, including Best Picture and Best Director.

4. Spider-Man 3 - $258 million (£171 million)

Tobey Maguire returned as Marvel character Peter Parker and his alter-ego Spider-man in the third film in the franchise, directed by Sam Rami. The film, released in 2007 set a box office record of $59 million (£39 million) on its opening day in the US and went on to gross $890 million (£589 million) worldwide.

5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - $250 million (£165 million)

Based on the J.K. Rowling novel of the same name and released in 2009, the sixth film in the Harry Potter series was considerably darker than previous instalments. It was also the most expensive. However, it went on to take $934 million (£618 million) at the box office to become one of the highest grossing films of all time. The franchise stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, the young wizard returning to Hogwarts for his sixth year. It co-stars Emma Watson as Hermione Granger.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for its cinematography.

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - $225 million (£148 million)

The second film in the hugely successful pirates series starring Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom became only the third film ever to gross $1 billion (£666 million) worldwide at the box office. Co-starring Keira Knightley and Bill Nighy, the film was released in 2006 to mixed reviews about its convoluted plot and lengthy two and a half hour running time.

It was nominated for four Academy Awards and won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

7. King Kong - $207 million (£136 million)

King Kong, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Naomi Watts, was a remake of the classic 1933 Hollywood movie of the same name. It was released in 2006 and grossed $550 million (£363 million) worldwide.

It won three Academy Awards for sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - $200 million (£132 million)

The second in the series of Narnia films based on the C.S.Lewis novels, Prince Caspian grossed $419 million worldwide at the box office (£279 million). It was released in 2008 and starred Ben Barnes in the title role, who went on to appear in Dorian Gray. Disney spent a reported $175 million (£115 million) promoting the film worldwide.

No nominations.

9. Quantum of Solace - $200 million (£132 million)

The latest Bond film, released in 2008, was directed by Marc Foster and starred Daniel Craig as James Bond. The 22nd film in the 007 series grossed $586 million (£387 million) worldwide.

No nominations.

10. Superman Returns - $200 million (£132 million)

The man of steel returned with Brandon Routh as Superman in this film, directed by Bryan Singer. It grossed $391 million (£258 million) worldwide.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for visual effects.

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