Can you guess which rock tune is the most expensive song to use in a movie? The answer has emerged before, but one TikTok user recently brought the topic up again just to underscore the huge sum it actually costs to employ the classic rock track in a flick.
Any guesses? It remains a signature cut by one of hard rock’s most influential outfits. And let’s just say it has a thunderous sound. On TikTok, influencer Daniel Wall (@danielswall) showed that it’s been used in a range of Hollywood blockbusters and superhero films.
Watch the video down toward the bottom of this post.
“What is the most expensive song to include in a movie?” Wall asks in the clip he shared on the social app last December. “This song was in movies like Deadpool 2 , Battleship  and Thor: Ragnarok .”
He continues, “We’re talking about ‘Thunderstruck‘ by AC/DC. Keep in mind that sync fees are usually anywhere between $15,000 and $60,000. So how much does this song cost to put in your movie? Half a million dollars [$500,000].
Synchronization fees (“synch fees”) are paid for the use of copyrighted music in movies, TV shows, video games and advertisements. In 2014, it was reported that 1999’s Varsity Blues paid the half-million fee for the AC/DC song, something Walls referenced in his recap.
“This was the price they paid almost 22 years ago,” he says, “so it’s definitely much, much higher now.”
Thomas Golubic is the music supervisor who placed “Thunderstruck” in Varsity Blues, which was the biggest sync deal he’d ever landed at the time, despite some initial misgivings.
“I remember being absolutely horrified when I heard that number,” Golubic once recalled. “And we spent a lot of time coming up with what we thought were great alternates, but there was going to be no budget on that, and they had money so they paid for it.”
AC/DC released “Thunderstruck” in 1990 as the lead single from their album The Razors Edge. In addition to the films mentioned, it’s appeared in Daddy’s Home (2015) and Daddy’s Home 2 (2017), Delivery Man (2013), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Longest Yard (2005) and more.
Have you heard “Thunderstruck” in any other movies?
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