Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Wolfgang Petersen Spent A Staggering Amount Of Money On Das Boot

Of all the films to come from the mind of the esteemed late film director Wolfgang Petersen, the 1981 submarine drama "Das Boot" is undoubtedly his magnum opus. Focusing on the harrowing lives of the crew of a German submarine at the tail end of World War II, the movie provides a thought-provoking commentary on the cost of war, as well as an extremely valuable depiction of a crucial point in human history. Even decades after its original release, "Das Boot" stands as one of the best war movies of all time.

It's not too far to stretch to say that "Das Boot" is something of an epic, not just in terms of its massive depth in scope and subtext, but also in terms of the gargantuan effort it took just to get the movie finished. Even some die-hard fans of the war film may not know just how much effort and capital went into various elements of its production, including the eye-popping amount of money that Petersen spent on the budget in order to fully realize his vision.

Das Boot costed a pretty penny

No expense was spared when it came to the making of "Das Boot." Between the lengthy production period of two years and the construction of numerous true-to-life submarine sets, Wolfgang Petersen's devotion to the project turned it into an extremely costly endeavor. All told, the project had a budget of roughly 32,000,000 deutsche marks, which equates to roughly over $16,600,000 (via IMDb).

While a budget of $16,600,000 may pale in comparison to the inflated numbers of modern-day blockbusters like "Avengers: Endgame" and "Justice League," which sported estimated budgets of $356,000,000 and $300,000,000 respectively, it was certainly not a statistic to sneeze at back in 1981. At the time of the release of "Das Boot," the movie stood as the most expensive German film to date, and it boasted none of the name recognition or brand awareness that many big-budget movies rely upon today.

With the massive amount of money poured into "Das Boot," it's no understatement to say that a lot was riding on the film's box office success. Fortunately, the flick was a hit right from the get-go, grossing a whopping total of $84,970,337 worldwide — over five times the amount of its original budget (via The Numbers). Of course, the overwhelmingly positive critical reception to the movie goes without saying (aside from the original author of "Das Boot" being critical of the adaptation). Petersen's most popular movie may have nearly broken the bank, but it turned out to be worth every penny.