Matrix Reloaded For the epic car chase in the movie, they had to build a road on a naval base in California that was a mile and half long with off ramps and a 19-foot wall. There were over 100 cars in the scene, and they were all donated by General Motors. Good thing no one paid for them, because they were all destroyed. The chase scene took 48 days of filming.
Inception For the scene where a huge train smashes Leonardo DiCaprio’s car, a real freight train was actually welded onto a semi-truck so it could be driven, and then it was put on a real street to film the scene.
2001: A Space Odyssey To make the scene where Frank Poole runs around the room in zero gravity look as real as possible, an entire centrifuge set was built that rotated while the camera stayed put. Actor Gary Lockwood was actually running in place.
Ben Hur The epic 9-minute chariot race was a rather extravagant one. The arena where it took place cost $1 million (over $8 million in today’s terms), 1,000 men working on it and an entire year to complete. 36,000 tons of white sand were imported from Mexico and over 80 horses were brought in for the scene with 8,000 extras in the stands.
The Dark Knight Christopher Nolan really knows how to do it big. For the scene where the Joker (Heath Ledger) blows up a hospital, Nolan took an old parking lot and built an entire hospital around it. The structure took 2 weeks because it was so complicated.
Gandhi Since the real funeral of Gandhi had over 1 million attendees, the director hired over 300,000 extras for the scene in the film, breaking the record for largest number of extras ever used in a movie.
Pearl Harbor When the Japanese attack, there’s a huge explosion scene. 6 ships were destroyed, all of which measured between 400 and 600 feet. Short sequence took 12 camera teams, 7,000 dynamite sticks and 4,000 gallons of gasoline. That one scene cost $5.5 million and it is the most expensive explosion sequence to date.
Skyfall The crew spent months building the perfect mansion in the middle of the English countryside, only to have Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem) blow the entire thing up.
Apocalypse Now In the opening scene, the huge forest fire is all real. The Philippine army gave director Francis Ford Coppola helicopters, from which he poured 1,200 gallons of gasoline onto the palm trees and set them ablaze, destroying acres of land in a matter of seconds.
The Matrix: Reloaded Not only was the car chase scene massively expensive, but the action-packed fight scene between Neo and Agent Smith cost a whopping $40 million to make. CGI was used for the extreme moves they pulled off to create a sense of slowed time, and to show off Agent Smith’s power as a rogue program, it took a lot of time to generate hundreds of Hugo Weaving clones to populate the fight scene. Since it was 17 minutes long, the scene cost $2.35 million a minute in CGI expenses alone.