The most expensive bloopers in Hollywood history
Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, even the cast and crew of some of the biggest Hollywood movies and TV shows. After all, we’re only human. The difference is, while you or I might make a mistake costing five bucks or so, in Hollywood a single, simple error can easily rack up a bill in the millions. Some of the most popular movies of all time actually lost money thanks to costly bloopers, production delays, recasting, and other unforeseen issues. Did any of your favorite films make the list? Read on to see some of the most expensive mistakes Hollywood has ever made.
1. Apocalypse Now
Budget: $31 million
Worldwide box office total: $83 million
Apocalypse Now has become an iconic take on the horrors and madness of the Vietnam war. The updated adaptation of Heart of Darkness tells the story of an army captain sent on a mission to kill an insane Green Beret Colonel who has gone rogue in the jungle.
Though the movie went on to become a classic, the shoot was riddled with issues, errors, and mishaps that added millions to the budget. Director Francis Ford Copolla insisted on filming in the Philippines, where a typhoon destroyed all the sets. It cost over $1.5 million to repair the damage, but Apocalypse Now made up for the extra costs with its box office draw and lasting appeal.
NEXT: Before this movie could reach 88 miles per hour, recasting a major role cost filmmakers money.
2. Back to the Future
Budget: $19 million
Worldwide box office total: $381 million
1985’s Back to the Future follows young Marty McFly as he accidentally travels back in time. On his journey, Marty meets his dad, gets hit on by his mom, and almost prevents his own birth. You know, regular coming of age stuff. Michael J. Fox is loved by fans the world over for his portrayal of Marty McFly, but he wasn’t the original pick for the role.
Before Michael J. Fox got in the Delorean, Eric Stoltz of Mask was originally cast in the leading role. Stoltz is a strong dramatic actor, but he wasn’t nailing the comedic beats for the role, so he was ultimately recast. The change cost the movie $4 million, which they luckily made up for in box office profits.
NEXT: This film fell on hard times early with a case of social justice…
3. All the Money in the World
Budget: $50 million
Worldwide box office total: $39 million
All the Money in the World is a 2017 movie based on the true story of the kidnapping of Getty heir John Paul Getty III. His grandfather, oil magnate Jean Paul Getty, must decide whether he will pay the enormous ransom for the return of his heir or not.
However, the movie ran into trouble when its original star Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct just over a month before its scheduled release date. Worried that Spacey’s sinking reputation would doom the film, director Ridley Scott acted quickly and recast Christopher Plummer in the Jean Paul Getty role. Despite the quick recasting, the movie still lost money.
NEXT: This sci-fi show had a big, expensive “frak” up.
4. Battlestar Galactica
Original air dates: 2005 – 2009
Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
The mid-aughts reboot of the ’70s science fiction series Battlestar Galactica earned rave reviews from critics and sci-fi fans alike. It even inspired a very funny Portlandia sketch about how easy it is to get sucked into a life-wrecking binge of the addictive show. However, even this juggernaut series wasn’t immune to bloopers.
In one scene in the third season, Edward James Olmos as Admiral Adama destroys a model of an old ship. What Olmos didn’t know when he ad-libbed the scene was that the model was worth $200,000.
NEXT: This horror movie production resulted in gruesome injuries for one of its stars.
5. Incident in a Ghostland
Worldwide box office total: $5 million
Incident in a Ghostland is 2018 horror movie about a woman who inherits a house, but then she and her young daughters are violently attacked there by intruders. Sixteen years later, the daughters return to the house and terrifying events ensue.
For actress Taylor Hickson, filming the movie was frightening enough. On her last day on set, she was filming a scene where she was asked to bang on a door with her face next to a pane of glass. The glass shattered, and Hickson had to get seventy stitches in her face. She has since sued the production company for not taking proper precautions while filming the scene.
NEXT: This movie’s main characters never say die, but there was a big mistake in the editing room.
6. The Goonies
Budget: $19 million
Worldwide box office total: $61 million
With their neighborhood about to be torn down to build a golf course, The Goonies discover a treasure map and go off on a quest to save their homes. This comedy about swashbuckling misfits is a coming-of-age classic, but it also contains a goof for the ages.
In a deleted scene, the goonies have to fight off an octopus. Although that scene ended up on the cutting room floor, you can hear one of the kids telling a reporter at the end of the movie all about the battle with the eight-legged beast. For die-hard Goonies, the octopus scene is available on the 2001 DVD release of the film.
NEXT: From an eight-legged sea monster to a different kind of eight, Hollywood bloopers abound.
7. The Hateful Eight
Budget: $44 million
Worldwide box office total: $155 million
In the 2015 western The Hateful Eight, Kurt Russell stars as a bounty hunter escorting a criminal through the Wyoming winter to get his prize money. However, during the course of shooting Russell made a mistake that would cost more than the prize at the end of the film.
Martin Guitars loaned an antique, 150-year-old guitar to The Hateful Eight. For a scene where Kurt Russell was supposed to smash the guitar, the antique wasn’t traded out for the prop guitar, so he ended up smashing a Martin guitar worth $40,000.
NEXT: Even Iron Man can get hurt on set.
8. Iron Man 3
Budget: $100 million
Worldwide box office total: $1.2 billion
Iron Man 3 rounds out the Iron Man trilogy starring Robert Downey Jr. In this final Iron Man movie, Tony Stark battles against a terrorist known as the Mandarin. However, while doing a stunt for the movie Downey Jr. injured his ankle, delaying production several weeks and costing thousands of dollars.
In the lead up to filming, Downey Jr. said, “I’d like there to be ten moments where people wonder how I was stupid enough to actually do that stunt. Most of all, me.” From the sounds of it, he really got his wish.
NEXT: Another actor famous for doing his own stunts put himself out of commission, costing this movie a pretty penny.
9. Jack Reacher
Budget: $60 million
Worldwide box office total: $218 million
In the 2012 blockbuster Jack Reacher, Tom Cruise plays a homicide investigator tracking a deadly serial sniper. As in many of his other movies, Cruise performed many of his own stunts in Jack Reacher, including one that would end up costing the production money.
Tom Cruise actually hurt his foot on set after repeatedly kicking a stuntman in the crotch. Cruise said, “It was a human being, [but] no testicles were injured in the making of the film! We had to do the take over and over again, and the first 10 times it was like ‘Yeah!’ After about 50 times in, my foot was swelling…I kept having to loosen my shoe.” The delay while Cruise’s foot healed cost the movie thousands of dollars.
NEXT: If you knew what this shark was really like, you never would have been afraid to go in the water.
Budget: $8 million
Worldwide box office total: $470 million
The movie that’s kept generations of Americans from swimming in the ocean actually struggled to get their star to perform at all. In Jaws, a twenty-five-foot-long shark terrorizes the waters outside a Massachusetts beach town, but behind the scenes, the shark was a different story.
The crew dubbed the animatronic shark Bruce, and he turned out to be very difficult to work with. Malfunctioning parts resulted in many extra takes and costly repairs to the shark used in the film. Due to Bruce’s issues and other unforeseen costs, the movie ended up needing more than twice its projected budget to be completed.
NEXT: I mustache some questions about this superhero blooper
11. Justice League
Budget: $300 million
Worldwide box office total: $614 million
In the 2017 smash Justice League, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and many other super friends team up to save the world from a catastrophic threat. However, when it came time for reshoots, the production faced a hairier threat in the form of Henry Cavill’s mustache.
Cavill played Superman in the movie, but he had grown a mustache shortly after for his part in Mission: Impossible 6. As he couldn’t shave, the Justice League team ended up using CGI to remove his mustache in the reshot scenes, paying their animators more than anticipated to cover up the facial hair.
NEXT: This movie has everything: true love, pirates, a giant, rodents of unusual size, and one great big blooper.
12. The Princess Bride
Budget: $16 million
Worldwide box office total: $30 million
The Princess Bride is a quirky fairy tale starring the dashing Cary Elwes as a farm boy who becomes a pirate and has a series of fantastical adventures in an attempt to win back his true love, played by Robin Wright. Along the way, he encounters giants, swordsmen, and an inconceivably big blooper.
In the scene where Elwes’ character is knocked unconscious by the six-fingered man, the actor really was struck hard enough in the head to put out his lights. The mishap set back production and sent Elwes to the emergency room.
NEXT: The big wheel of bloopers keeps on turning in this movie that takes its name from a Creedence Clearwater Revival song.
13. Proud Mary
Budget: $14 million
Worldwide box office total: $18 million
Taraji P. Henson starred in the 2018 crime drama Proud Mary. In the movie, Henson plays a hit woman whose life is changed by the son of one of her victims. As it turns out, Henson’s marks weren’t the only hits in the film.
During a take, Henson crashed the Maserati her character was driving into a fire hydrant. The damage done to the car cost about $12,000 to repair, and the car itself is worth $100,000. Luckily, Henson herself was not injured, though the movie’s budget was.
NEXT: This blooper left a debonair leading man shaken and stirred.
14. Quantum of Solace
Budget: $220 million
Worldwide box office total: $586 million
In Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig stars for his second time as James Bond. This time, the super spy is out for revenge on agents who attempted to assassinate his boss “M.” Along the way, he becomes embroiled with a mysterious beauty, a retired agent, and a mysterious green tech company.
Behind the scenes, Quantum of Solace had more than its fair share of mishaps. Craig sustained cuts to his face requiring eight stitches, and two weeks later cut off the tip of one of his fingers. Plus, a fire broke out on one of the sets during production, causing a need for replacement sets to be built. There’s a reason why the call it the “curse of Bond.”
NEXT: This movie has been called the most dangerous production of all time.
Budget: $17 million
Gross domestic box office total: $2 million
Roar stars Tippi Hedren of The Birds fame and her young daughter Melanie Griffith as the wife and daughter of a man who lives in Africa with wild lions. This was well before the days of CGI, and Roar used over 100 real, wild lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and jaguars. What could go wrong?
Well, not only did the movie flop but pretty much every actor needed medical attention at least once following a lion attack. Melanie Griffith was actually mauled by a lion and had plastic surgery to repair the damage to her face. Director and leading man Noel Marshall was bitten so many times he actually developed gangrene. Birds must have been looking pretty good to Tippi by the end of the shoot.
NEXT: This CIA thriller serves up a blooper with a pinch of salt.
Budget: $110 million
Worldwide box office total: $293 million
In the thriller Salt, Angelina Jolie plays a respected CIA agent. For unknown reasons, a Russian agent names her as the future assassin of the president of Russia. Jolie’s character goes underground and the thrills begin.
On set, Jolie got a very different kind of thrill. The actress did her own stunts in Salt, one of which caused her to bump her head pretty badly. The star was taken to the hospital and examined, but she didn’t spend too long off the set. Still, her injury did slow production and added a little more time into their budget.
NEXT: This movie is named for a lucky number, but it’s still not immune from bloopers.
Budget: $33 million
Worldwide box office total: $327 million
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman play homicide detectives on the trail of a disturbed serial killer in Se7en. The killer uses the seven deadly sins as a model for his crimes, and he issues sermons to the detectives on each sin.
In one scene, Brad Pitt’s character chases the killer through a wet, rainy set. Pitt slipped and his arm went through a windshield, severing a tendon. Pitt had to wear a cast through the rest of production, so the injury was written into the script. If you watch closely, you can see that in some earlier scenes that were reshot, Pitt is hiding one arm.
NEXT: The curse of Bond strikes again.
Budget: $200 million
Worldwide box office total: $1.1 billion
2012’s Skyfall follows James Bond as he tracks down and eliminates a threat to MI6, while also testing his loyalty to M. Daniel Craig reprising his role as 007. Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, and Ralph Fiennes also starred.
This time, the trouble with the movie came later. Once it had been released on DVD, Skyfall was included in a class action lawsuit. The suit alleged that the movie and others from Disney, Fox, Universal, and Netflix, had shortchanged hearing-impaired customers who bought the DVDs by not transcribing song lyrics and musical cues. According to the suit, 10% of the population relies on closed captioning, and the missing lyrics left that population out.
NEXT: This Best Picture winner let some surprising bloopers slip into the final cut of the movie.
Budget: $103 million
Worldwide box office total: $457 million
In 2000, Gladiator was one of the biggest movies of the year. Starring Russell Crowe as an enslaved Roman general, Gladiator followed his struggle to exact vengeance against the corrupt emperor who enslaved him and killed his family.
Despite the movie’s big budget and prestige status, some pretty crazy bloopers still ended up on the big screen. At one point, you can clearly see an airplane pass overhead while Russell Crowe is speaking. In another battle scene, a chariot flips to reveal the motor beneath. At the end of the day, Gladiator told a good story incredibly well, so the mistakes didn’t really matter.
NEXT: The bloopers in this movie will blow your hat off!
20. Smokey and the Bandit II
Budget: $17 million
Worldwide box office total: $10 million
Following on the heels of his success in Smokey and the Bandit, Smokey and the Bandit II has Burt Reynolds going through the motions of the original and reprising his role as the bandit. Sadly, the sequel lacked heart and originality, though Reynolds still had considerable charm as he drove an elephant from Florida to Texas.
Perhaps some of the missing magic of the sequel is due to Reynolds’ behind the scenes bloopers. The star had so much trouble remembering his lines that it was a running joke on set that his blooper reel was longer than the actual movie.
NEXT: Gentleman might prefer blondes, but directors prefer starlets who can learn their lines.
21. Some Like it Hot
Budget: $2 million
Worldwide box office total: $25 million
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon star in Some Like it Hot as jazz musicians who go undercover as members of a women’s band after they witness a mob killing. While they’re hiding out, they become enamored with a blonde beauty played by Marilyn Monroe, and hilarious hijinks ensue.
On set, the mood was less jolly. Monroe was often late to set and had trouble learning her lines. One scene reportedly took her 81 takes to get it right. The retakes and slow pace made Some Like it Hot go $500,000 over budget, and director Billy Wilder swore he would never work with Monroe again.
NEXT: This version of The Avengers isn’t what you think it is.
22. The Avengers
Budget: $60 million
Worldwide box office total: $48.5 million
This particular movie called The Avengers is definitely not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this 1998 movie, Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes star as secret agents on a mission to stop an evil mastermind from destroying the world with a weather machine.
Unfortunately for the production, they had a disaster all their own behind the scenes. Sparks from an explosion in the movie caused a fire that burned down $1.6 million worth of sets. Things went from bad to worse at the box office, where the movie was a massive flop.
NEXT: This will go down as the most tragic mistake in Hollywood history.
23. The Crow
Budget: $23 million
Worldwide box office total: $94 million
The Crow stars Brandon Lee (son of the legendary Bruce Lee) as a man who is mysteriously brought back to life after he and his fiance were murdered. A crow guides the undead hero to his killers and he gets justice at last.
Sadly, on the set of this movie Brandon Lee’s life was cut tragically short. In a scene where another actor fired a prop gun at Lee, the gun had accidentally been loaded. Lee died later that night, and the movie was finished using body doubles and computer animation to complete the rest of Lee’s scenes.
NEXT: When it comes to this classic movie, it’s best to leave the bloopers and take the cannoli.
24. The Godfather
Budget: $6 million
Worldwide box office total: $245 million
1972’s The Godfather is an infinitely quotable crime drama starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. It tells the story of an aging crime boss handing his empire down to his son who is reluctant to take the reins.
Behind the scenes, Al Pacino hurt himself early on in production, causing several weeks of delays. In a scene were he exits a restaurant and jumps into a moving car, he missed his mark and twisted his ankle. At another point, Pacino was nearly fired because the studio felt he wasn’t right for the part. We’re glad he made them change their minds.
NEXT: This team of animators has got to go fast.
25. Sonic the Hedgehog
Budget: $90 million
Worldwide box office total: TBA
Sonic the Hedgehog is the latest video game adaptation to hit the big screen. In the movie, Sonic is being pursued by a government agency and has the help of a cop played by James Marsden Following hot on the heels of the exceptionally well-animated Detective Pikachu, Sonic’s rough graphics have been the subject of lots of online criticism.
Fan dissatisfaction has been so overwhelming that shortly after the first trailer was released, Sonic director Jeff Fowler tweeted that the animation team is working on a complete redesign of our favorite blue hedgehog. It remains to be seen how that new design will look and just how much it will cost.
NEXT: This science fiction thriller had a truly disastrous production.
26. The Island of Dr. Moreau
Budget: $40 million
Worldwide box office total: $42 million
Based on a novel by H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau is about a man who finds himself on an island populated by strange creatures. As he explores further, he discovers that they are human/animal hybrids created by a mad doctor.
The making of this movie was madness in itself. Marlon Brando was difficult on set, making increasingly outlandish demands including the hiring of a mini-me for his character. They went through several recastings and a couple of directors. Production ended with the original director in costume as a hybrid sneaking back on to the set to burn it down.
NEXT: The cost of this prop will have you wigging out.
27. Thor: Ragnarok
Budget: $180 million
Worldwide box office total: $853 million
In Thor: Ragnarok Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor for an unpronounceable romp through space. Thor is trapped on the planet Sakaar and has to return to Asgard to stop Ragnarok from destroying his world.
Tessa Thompson co-stars as Valkyrie and her hair managed to rack up an unexpected cost. Thompson was called back for reshoots a year after shooting most of her scenes, and she had dyed her hair bright orange for her role in Sorry to Bother You. So, Disney paid $10,000 to get her a top of the line wig to maintain continuity. Honestly, we think she looks amazing either way.
NEXT: This blooper might be a case of filmmakers running out of money.
28. Transformers: Age of Extinction
Budget: $210 million
Worldwide box office total: $1.1 billion
In Transformers: Age of Extinction, the battle between good robots and bad robots continues, with humans caught somewhere in the middle. With a bounty hunter on the trail of Optimus Prime, the Autobots ask a mechanic and his family to help them.
The special effects team for this visually-loaded flick might have needed some help, too. In a scene where the villains are hunting Autobots on a multiple-display system, some of the screens have been left green. Typically, green screens are used before inserting graphics, so it’s possible that the effects team ran out of time or money to add something in place of the green.
NEXT: This Kevin Costner movie ended up all wet.
Budget: $175 million
Worldwide box office total: $264 million
In 1995, Waterworld and it’s catchphrase, “dry land is not a myth,” became the butt of many jokes. The movie is set in the future after the polar ice caps have melted and the world is covered in water. Kevin Costner plays a man who is helping a woman and her child try to find land.
Waterworld had trouble with too much water on set as well. The movie was shot in the ocean, and during filming a hurricane wiped out millions of dollars worth of sets, bringing the budget from $100 million to $175 million.
NEXT: You’ve got a golden ticket to one last movie blooper.
30. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Budget: $150 million
Worldwide box office total: $474 million
Tim Burton’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Wonka is an eccentric candy maker who invites a group of children to tour his factory. As the tour goes on, the kids are picked off one by one. It’s kind of like Friday the 13th but with more sugar.
Behind the scenes, a crew member ran into a sticky situation when they dropped a camera lens worth $540,000 into the chocolate river. The incident cost the production $900,000 in delays and replacement equipment. And you thought you had a rough day at work!