5 Brief Movie Scenes That Cost a Bucket of Cash to Make, Ranked

5 Brief Movie Scenes That Cost a Bucket of Cash to Make, Ranked
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Imagine spending $10 million on a single scene, only to have it cut from the final movie version.

While audiences keep enjoying the visually stunning moments from iconic movies, some of these cinematic treasures, despite being relatively short in length, come at an eye-popping cost. Here are five short scenes that have burned a hole in the film's budget.

5. The Matrix Reloaded — Freeway Chase

The second installment of the groundbreaking sci-fi franchise is famous for its breathtaking action sequences and state-of-the-art visual effects. What few people know is that the Wachowskis went to great lengths to create one of the most adrenaline-pumping sequences in the film.

The directors rented an old naval base and spent $2.5 million to build a 1.5-mile stretch of highway. They also destroyed over a hundred cars to achieve the desired effect.

4. Vanilla Sky — Times Square Scene

Cameron Crowe's psychological thriller features a surreal and visually striking scene in New York's iconic Times Square where Tom Cruise's character finds himself alone in the once bustling, now empty square.

In order to film this dreamy driving sequence, Crowe paid a staggering $1 million to shut down the entirety of Times Square, and the city rarely allowed such closures to take place.

3. The Force Awakens — Mark Hamill ’s Cameo

The highly anticipated return of the Star Wars franchise featured Mark Hamill's brief but significant cameo where the actor reprised his role as Luke Skywalker. Although the star's appearance was relatively short, lasting only a few minutes, it was a pivotal moment in the movie's plot, earning Hamill a whopping $3 million.

2. Superman Returns — Krypton Scene

Bryan Singer's Superman Returns aimed to revive the iconic superhero franchise, and it included a visually stunning sequence that took place on Superman's home planet of Krypton. However, creating the intricate Krypton sequence, with its otherworldly landscapes and advanced technology, came with a hefty price tag.

This scene alone cost approximately $10 million to shoot, making it one of the most expensive parts of the movie. It's a real shame it was ultimately cut from the final version of the film.

1. I Am Legend — Brooklyn Bridge Evacuation

The Brooklyn Bridge evacuation scene in Francis Lawrence's thriller, based on Richard Matheson's iconic post-apocalyptic novel, was both iconic and incredibly expensive. With a large crew, over 1,000 extras, and more than a hundred National Guard members, the approximate cost of the scene was $5 million.

However, due to the extensive use of military equipment and resources, some believe it may have been even higher.