Oscar: Best Picture Winners–Budgets

“Titanic,” the 1997 Oscar winner, was at the time the most expensive Best Picture, with a budget north of $200 million.  But not to worry: The James Cameron disaster epic more than recoup its expense, going on to become one of the two most commercially profitable works in film history (making $600 million in the U.S. alone); the other being James Cameron’s 2009 “Avatar.”

But the budget of the Best Picture winners varies, just like their artistic quality and ultimate commercial appeal.

Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” the 2003 Oscar winner was made for about $100 million and grossed globally over $1 billion.

But many Oscar winners in recent years have been made for relatively small budgets:

“American Beauty,” in 1999, for $15 million.

“A Beautiful Mind,” in 2001, for

“Shakespeare in Love,” in 1998

“Chicago,” in 2002, for $45 million.

“The Departed,” in 2006

“No Country for Old Men,” in 2007, for  $25 million

“Slumdog Millionaire,” in 2008, for

“The Hurt Locker,” in 2009

“THe King’s Speech,” in 2010