No expense was spared in the creation of Das Boot. Between a long two-year production period and the creation of many realistic submarine sets, Wolfgang Petersen’s dedication to the project turned it into an extremely costly undertaking. In total, the project had a budget of approximately DM 32,000,000, which is approximately more than $16,600,000 (via IMDb).
While the $16,600,000 budget may pale in comparison to the inflated figures of contemporary blockbusters like “Avengers: Endgame” as well as “Justice League” with an estimated budget of $356,000,000 and $300,000,000 respectively, in 1981 it was definitely not a statistic to sneeze at. neither the name recognition nor the brand awareness that many big-budget films rely on today.
Given the huge amount of money invested in Das Boot, it’s no understatement to say that a lot depended on the film’s box office success. Luckily, the film was a hit from the start, grossing a whopping $84,970,337 worldwide, more than five times its original budget (via Numbers). Of course, the vast majority of positive reviews from critics about the film goes without saying (except original author of “Das Boot” is critical of the adaptation). Petersen’s most popular film may have almost gone bankrupt, but it turned out to be worth every penny.