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Top 10 Insanely Expensive Comedy Movies

VO: Matthew Wende
Written by Nathan Sharp These comedy movies cost quite a bit of money to make, but we'll leave it to you to decide whether or not it was money well spent! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Most Expensive Comedy Movies Ever Made! But what movie will take the top spot on our list? "How do you Know", "Pixels", or "Evan Almighty"? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: WatchMojo.com Big thanks to governmentfree for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Insanely+Expensive+Comedy+Movies
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A comedy can be THAT expensive!? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 insanely expensive comedy movies.

For this list, we’ll be ranking the most expensive comedy movies ever made in terms of overall budget. These movies need to be comedies, so while genre hybrids are welcome, the movie needs to primarily be a comedy. We’ll be excluding both animated and superhero movies, as we’ll only be focusing on live-action comedy.

#10: “Bewitched” (2005)


Yes, believe it or not, one of the most expensive comedy films ever made was a re-imagining of an ABC sitcom from the ‘60s. They really had high hopes for this, didn’t they? The movie admittedly has a great cast, including Nicole Kidman, Will Ferrell, Michael Caine, Kristin Chenoweth, and Shirley MacLaine, which also undoubtedly raised the $85 million budget through the roof. It was a ridiculous amount for a simple romantic comedy… and it was all for nothing. Critics and audiences alike hated the movie, and it grossed only $63 million at the domestic box office.

#9: “Town & Country” (2001)


Remember this movie? That’s okay, no one else does either, which is never a good sign considering it cost $90 million to produce. And where did all that money go, you may ask? Again, to the stars. This movie featured the likes of Warren Beatty, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Garry Shandling. A few people were undoubtedly excited, as this would be Beatty’s third film with Hawn. We say a few because those collaborations were decades ago, and most people probably didn’t care at this point. The movie ended up grossing only around $10 million, making this one of the biggest bombs ever.

#8: “It’s Complicated” (2009)


It’s a movie written and directed by Nancy Meyers and starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. Can you possibly see why it would be so expensive? While the story was rather predictable and run-of-the-mill, the cast was fantastic, even winning a National Board of Review award for Best Ensemble Cast. That kind of talent requires big money, and the producers of this movie needed to pony up about $85 million in order to see the project come to life. “It’s Complicated” ultimately grossed nearly $220 million worldwide, so in this case, it was a worthy investment.

#7: “Tower Heist” (2011)


“Tower Heist” follows the story of three employees of an executive apartment building who lose their pensions to a sleazy businessman. So they hire a band of criminals in order to get it back. If the story itself sounds ambitious enough to require a large budget, just wait until you hear the cast: Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, and Eddie Murphy, among many others. Along with the cast, the film employed the use of many ambitious filmmaking techniques, including recreating parts of Trump International Hotel and Tower. This all resulted in an estimated $85 million bill.

#6: “Tropic Thunder” (2008)


“Tropic Thunder” not only had the movie stars behind it (including Tom Cruise in an amazingly funny cameo), but it also had some pretty nifty effects that resulted in a massive $92 million budget. Filming took place on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i and featured numerous extensive shots of CGI, including the sequence when the helicopter explodes behind Robert Downey Jr. as he runs through the jungle. The crew also transplanted a group of palm trees, and constructed both a 450-foot row of explosives and an entire bridge (which was subsequently blown up). So yeah, we can see why the budget was a little high.

#5: “Sex and the City 2” (2010)


Turns out, “Sex and the City” is insanely expensive to make. We don’t know if all four ladies got a raise or what, but the final budget of this sequel totaled an enormous $95 million. Many big names also appear in cameo roles, which could have contributed to the high budget. That and the crew spent six weeks filming in Morocco, when the shoot was supposed to last only 13 days. We wonder if there were unforeseen production setbacks or if the cast just wanted to take a vacation on the studio’s dime. Either way, the movie was widely criticized, but it made nearly $300 million at the box office, so hey, money well spent, we suppose.

#4: “Fun with Dick and Jane” (2005)


Jim Carrey must be really expensive, because aside from his salary, we’re not quite sure where this movie’s $100 million budget went. The film is a remake of the 1977 comedy and follows Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni as a husband and wife duo that resort to robbery after falling on hard times. Alec Baldwin also stars as Carrey’s former boss, but aside from those three, there aren’t any big name actors in the movie, and it features no elaborate set pieces or visual effects. We guess that’s how much big stars were going for back in 2005, though and it really makes you think…

#3: “Pixels” (2015)


Now this is a movie with an understandable budget. With a story about aliens taking the form of giant arcade characters and attacking Earth, it’s clear that the visual effects budget would be through the roof, especially because they interact with the (also expensive) human cast. The shoot itself was also an arduous process, including turning Toronto into New York and Washington, shutting down the Canadian city’s streets from traffic, and filling them with wrecked cars and giant holes. Overall, the budget ended up being between $110-129 million, although it totaled $88 million after rebates. It went on to make $78 million in North America and almost $165 million everywhere else, for a total of about $245 million worldwide.

#2: “How Do You Know” (2010)


How do you know that movie stars cost a lot of money? Well, just take a look at this movie. The film stars a huge cast of A-list actors including Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson, and was written and directed by James L. Brooks. The extremely large budget of $120 million (or $100 million after rebates) was mostly due to two factors: its stars and meticulous filming. Brooks’ slow direction often caused the budget to balloon, and the combined salaries of its stars and Brooks’ totaled around $50 million alone. For a romantic comedy, some may consider that a bit excessive.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” (2008)
$90 million

“Hitch” (2005)
$70 million

“What Women Want” (2000)
$70 million


#1: “Evan Almighty” (2007)


“Hey studio execs, it turns out Evan was a popular character in that Bruce movie!” “Great! Take $175 million and make a movie just about him!” That’s right, this sequel cost a head-wobbling $175 million to produce, making it easily the most expensive comedy film ever at the time (though it was later beaten by 2012’s “Men in Black 3”at $215 million). The studio truly went all out in the production of this “Bruce Almighty” sequel. They constructed a complete 450-foot long ark, used aged fibers to give the costumes an authentic appearance, created 300 pairs of digital animals, and developed entirely new tools to create the final scene of the Ark in Washington. In short, it was a whole ordeal, and it has the budget to prove it.
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