The budgets of the winners of the best picture Oscar have ranged from “Titanic” highs to “Rocky” lows. Here are the last 43, ranked from lowest to highest.
A range of highly expensive to low-budget films have won the best picture Oscar throughout its history.
Based on budget data from IMDB Pro, and then adjusted for inflation, we ranked the last 43 best picture winners based on their budget, from lowest to highest.
There is no special formula to win the best picture Oscar — at least when it comes to money.
Films that range from low-budget indie flicks (“Moonlight,” “The Artist”) to high-budget blockbusters (“Titanic,” “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”) have won the Oscar for best picture throughout history.
And that’s reflected in this year’s nominees as well — from Christopher Nolan’s $100 million war epic, “Dunkirk,” to Luca Guadagnino’s $4 million 1980s romantic drama “Call Me by Your Name.”
Based on budget data from IMDB Pro, and then adjusted for inflation using an inflation calculator, we’ve ranked the last 43 best picture winners from lowest budget to highest budget.
43. “Moonlight” (2016)
Initial budget: $4 million Adjusted for inflation: $4.13 million
42. “Rocky” (1976)
Initial budget: $960,000 Adjusted for inflation: $4.18 million
41. “Crash” (2005)
Initial budget: $6.5 million Adjusted for inflation: $8.2 million
40. “Platoon” (1986)
Initial budget: $6 million Adjusted for inflation: $13.5 million
39. “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989)
Initial budget: $7.5 million Adjusted for inflation: $14.991 million
38. “Chariots of Fire” (1981)
Initial budget: $7.5 million Adjusted for inflation: $14.997 million
37. “Annie Hall” (1977)
Initial budget: $4 million Adjusted for inflation: $16.36 million
36. “The Artist” (2011)
Initial budget: $15 million Adjusted for inflation: $16.5 million
35. “The King’s Speech” (2010)
Initial budget: $15 million Adjusted for inflation: $17.05 million
34. “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)
Initial budget: $15 million Adjusted for inflation: $17.26 million
33. “The Hurt Locker” (2009)
Initial budget: $15 million Adjusted for inflation: $17.3 million
32. “Ordinary People” (1980)
Initial budget: $6 million Adjusted for inflation: $18.04 million
31. “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Initial budget: $18 million Adjusted for inflation: $18.84 million
30. “Terms of Endearment” (1983)
Initial budget: $8 million Adjusted for inflation: $19.9 million
29. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)
Initial budget: $4.4 million Adjusted for inflation: $20.27 million
28. “Spotlight” (2015)
Initial budget: $20 million Adjusted for inflation: $20.91 million
27. “12 Years a Slave” (2013)
Initial budget: $20 million Adjusted for inflation: $21.28 million
26. “American Beauty” (1999)
Initial budget: $15 million Adjusted for inflation: $22.3 million
25. “Unforgiven” (1992)
Initial budget: $14 million Adjusted for inflation: $24.73 million
24. “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979)
Initial budget: $8 million Adjusted for inflation: $27.31 million
23. “No Country for Old Men” (2007)
Initial budget: $25 million Adjusted for inflation: $29.88 million
22. “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
Initial budget: $19 million Adjusted for inflation: $34.57 million
21. “Schindler’s List” (1993)
Initial budget: $22 million Adjusted for inflation: $37.73 million
20. “Shakespeare in Love” (1999)
Initial budget: $25 million Adjusted for inflation: $38.01 million
19. “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)
Initial budget: $30 million Adjusted for inflation: $39.36 million
18. “Dances with Wolves” (1990)
Initial budget: $22 million Adjusted for inflation: $41.72 million
17. “The English Patient” (1996)
Initial budget: $27 million Adjusted for inflation: $42.65 million
16. “Amadeus” (1984)
Initial budget: $18 million Adjusted for inflation: $42.94 million
15. “Argo” (2012)
Initial budget: $44 million Adjusted for inflation: $47.5 million
14. “The Last Emperor” (1987)
Initial budget: $23 million Adjusted for inflation: $50.18 million
13. “Rain Man” (1988)
Initial budget: $25 million Adjusted for inflation: $52.38 million
12. “Gandhi” (1982)
Initial budget: $22 million Adjusted for inflation: $56.5 million
11. “The Deer Hunter” (1978)
Initial budget: $15 million Adjusted for inflation: $57.02 million
10. “Chicago” (2002)
Initial budget: $45 million Adjusted for inflation: $62 million
9. “The Godfather Part II” (1974)
Initial budget: $13 million Adjusted for inflation: $65.36 million
8. “Out of Africa” (1985)
Initial budget: $31 million Adjusted for inflation: $71.41 million
7. “A Beautiful Mind” (2001)
Initial budget: $58 million Adjusted for inflation: $81.22 million
6. “Forrest Gump” (1994)
Initial budget: $55 million Adjusted for inflation: $91.98 million
5. “The Departed” (2006)
Initial budget: $90 million Adjusted for inflation: $110 million
4. “Braveheart” (1995)
Initial budget: $72 million Adjusted for inflation: $117 million
3. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
Initial budget: $94 million Adjusted for inflation: $126 million
2. “Gladiator” (2000)
Initial budget: $103 million Adjusted for inflation: $148 million
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