Avengers: Infinity War‘s opening weekend was originally tracking for $175 million to $200 million, but the projections have since increased to $190 million to $235 million-plus, giving the movie an outside shot at breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ record for the biggest opening weekend ever ($248 million). That’s just one of the many box office records the Anthony and Joe Russo-directed film, which has already sold more tickets on Fandango than the last seven Marvel movies combined, has in its sights. Anything less “highest-grossing movie of the year” (even over Black Panther) would be considered a minor disappointment, especially considering how much Infinity War cost.
The Wall Street Journal pegs the movie’s budget at “close to $300 million,” which is less than original reports predicted (Infinity War and Avengers 4 were at one point assumed to have a total price tag of $1 billion), but still, that’s not cheap! It’s not enough to make Infinity War the most expensive ever, though.
That distinction belongs to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment in the Pirates franchise, which somehow cost a whopping $378.5 million. (Infinity War is somewhere in the top-five, around another Pirates film and Justice League.) And that’s in 2011 money! Adjusted for inflation, that’s… a lot of doubloons. “One of the biggest costs of making On Stranger Tides was paying the production staff and actors,” reports Forbes, with star Johnny Depp “alone believed to have received $55 million for the movie. The production staff peaked at 895 and they were paid a total of $17.8 million.”
According to the financial statements, Disney didn’t overspend when making On Stranger Tides. They say that “the directors consider the company’s key financial performance indicator to be whether Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is produced in line with the agreed budget. At the period end, the estimated cost of the film was in line with its budgeted cost, and the film continued to be funded by the financiers.” (Via)