Hollywood is well known for lavish projects where costs are hardly an impediment. This however does not hold true for all successful films. There are some low budget movies whose success, positive audience feedback and critical acclaim, resonate till date. Here’s a list of Top 10 Low Budget Movies that were Huge Hits. In spite of going really low on the element of financial expenditure, they all made a grand fortune upon release.
Directed by John. G. Avildsen and scripted by Sylvester Stallone, Rocky received a great response from the audience. Starring the fetching and young Stallone, the movie was a light film made within 28 days on a low budget of only $950,000. The movie’s release, in return, fetched mammoth amounts adding up to $225 million. Apart from the financial gains, the movie even won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
The Full Monty
This British comedy with a simple story of six unemployed men who try to make a difference in their lives by forming a striptease act proved to be quite surprise hit at the box office. The movie was made on a budget of $3.5 million, but thanks to its hilarious plot and storyline, the movie generated gross revenue of over $250 million. The Full Monty received critical acclaim, after its release and was the highest grossing film in the United Kingdom, until the grandiose Titanic was released.
Directed by James Wan, this $1.2 million low budget horror film was made based on the story of two men who are trapped in a bathroom and then given separate instructions via tape recorders to help them escape. The mind numbing horror and gut wrenching details in the movie received a positive reaction from the audience, allowing Saw to garner returns of over $103 million. The movie then became a franchise with seven equally thrilling parts, which were a hit with the audience too.
Created on a budget of a measly $11,000, this movie created a wave of curiosity with its highly unusual yet gripping plot. The movie was originally created as an independent feature and played at film festival screenings in 2007 and a couple of years later, in 2009, the movie was officially released by Paramount Pictures. Paranormal Activity depicts eerie experiences of a young couple, Katie and Micah, who move into a home in the suburbs. Katie claims to be haunted by the presence of an evil spirit in the house, and to further investigate the disturbing occurrences, Micah and Katie carefully set video cameras all over their home. The happenings that follow are grippingly spooky. The movie is worth every second of viewing and rightfully earned over a whopping $193 million worldwide.
Jared Hess had created a short film Peluca that was later adapted into a full-length film called Napoleon Dynamite. The protagonist and title role of Napoleon Dynamite was played by actor Jon Heder, who received a meager sum of $1,000 for his exceptional role in the movie. Later, it is said he renegotiated and was given a profit percentage of the movie. The movie was not just made on a restricted budget of $400,000, but was also filmed in a rather cost-friendly location – producer Jeremy Coon’s apartment! It created a new fondness towards the nerd kind and many movies adopted this leitmotif in their making. Napoleon Dynamite grossed $46,140,956 at the worldwide box office.
This larger than life action film was director George Miller’s debut adventure in filmmaking. The actors risked life and limb with the stunts they had to perform in the action sequences and it is said that Miller could only afford one actual leather suit for the movie, the one worn by Mel Gibson and the rest of the gangsters were costumed in pleather or imitation leather. The movie’s budget was tightly set at $400,000, but the profits it made added up to $100 million. Mad Max even entered the Guinness Book of World records for the film with the highest profit-to-cost percentage.
In Purge, writer and director James DeMonaco created the perfect plot for a crime thriller horror film. The budget invested in the making of the movie, which hit theaters in 2013, was a meager $3 million. But the reviews and audiences’ response boosted its revenue to a stupendous $89.3 million! With a story that revolves around the high crime rate in America and the government legally sanctioning criminal activities for 12 whole hours, the terror that strikes thereafter is portrayed in a horrifying real manner in the movie. The enthralling dreadfulness of the plot gripped the attention of the audience and not in a pleasant way either!
Once is the love story of two musicians, a street guitarist and a pianist, who fall in love and create a perfect blend of tunes together. The actors, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, are real musicians and have no prior experience in acting. But the work created by them in the movie is astounding and produced in just $150,000, this one created waves among viewers and critics alike. The movie raked in whopping returns of $20,710,513 and also received an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project is a transfixing horror story of three student filmmakers who mysteriously disappeared in Maryland while on a trip to film a documentary. Their video footage was recovered after a year and the recording is not just eerie but absolutely bloodcurdling! Written and directed by Daniel Myrick, the movie was made on a budget of $60,000. But the massively positive reviews earned the movie its $248 million revenue.
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
This 1998 British crime comedy gained critical acclaim due to its outstanding hilarious plot. The film is also said to have emerged as the project that made director Guy Ritchie internationally famous. Scripted and directed by Ritchie, the movie tells the story of a heist to rob a smalltime gang. The heist turns comic when the number of gangs, interested in making some easy money by robbing each other, increases. The budget used in the making of the film was $1.35 million, but the revenue it generated worldwide was a phenomenal $28.35 million.
All the movies on this list have gone all out to prove the fact that not every successful movie needs to be created with a monstrous budget, a monumental location or a cast of legendary actors. These Top 10 Low Budget Movies that were Huge Hits were appreciated by viewers and critics alike due to their originality and creativity and the fact that they were epics created with a relatively shoestring budget!