Some big-budget movies flop, but there are also plenty of low-budget movies that become blockbusters with earnings in the tens to hundreds of millions. This last category is full of classics, from Star Wars: A New Hope until pulp fiction.
To give an idea of budgets, we start with Titanic (1997), which had a budget of 200 million dollars. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring started with $93 million, The Avengers (2012) with $220 million and Ghostbusters (1984) with 30 million. Avatar: The Path of Water It cost $250 million.
Low-budget movies that grossed a lot
It’s hard to pin down what a low budget is, but anything under $10 million isn’t much in Hollywood. In this list we look at the relationship between small budget and big returns.
1. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
budget of 35,000 dollars
246.8 million revenue from ticket sales
Starting with the terrifying low-budget movie of all low-budget movies. The horror of ‘found footage’ was innovative, and its strength lay precisely in the bad and choppy images. The film had a budget of $35,000, including costs. post production between $200,000 and $750,000 and grossed $246.8 million in worldwide ticket sales.
2. Rocky (1976)
$1 million budget
$117.2 million in ticket sales revenue
Sylvester Stallone started in 1976 Rocky with $1 million, not yet knowing that a big franchise would follow. His first boxing film grossed $117.2 million worldwide in box office sales. The total franchise grossed $1.7 billion.
3. Moonlight (2016)
$4 million budget
65.3 million revenue from ticket sales
You can also win Oscars with low-budget movies, even in the Best Picture category. Barry Jenkins showed that with Moonlight in 2016. The writer-director had to settle for 4 million euros, generated 65.3 million dollars in revenue and earned a trophy case full of great prizes.
4. Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
$11 million budget
$775.4 million in ticket sales revenue
No expense is spared these days on new movies and series within the Star Wars universe, but it all started with a low-budget movie. Star Wars: A New Hope it cost $11 million and grossed $775.4 million in worldwide ticket sales. This was followed by the most lucrative franchise in movie history, although now Marvel is knocking on the door.
5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
$8 million budget
$213.9 million in ticket sales revenue
pulp fiction Quentin Tarantino’s film not only made a lot of money on a shoestring budget, but his film also became one of the great cult classics in movie history. With a budget of $8 million, it grossed $213.9 million.
6. Lost in Translation (2003)
4 million budget
$119.7 million in ticket sales revenue
With 4 million dollars, Sofia Coppola (the daughter of) was responsible for the definitive breakthrough of Scarlett Johansson. Lost in translation it won an Oscar for Best Screenplay and grossed $119.7 million.
7. Exit (2017)
$4.5 million budget
$255.4 million in ticket sales revenue
Jordan Peele had a small budget, but a great marketing strategy. He made $33.3 million in the opening weekend alone and the counter eventually got stuck at $255.4 million. Salt it implies an intelligent relationship between ‘horror’ and ‘racism’.
8. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
15 million budget
$377.9 million in ticket sales revenue
millionaire is the most ironic movie on this list, and that needs no explanation. The budget was not extremely low at 15 million, but the return of 377.9 million dollars makes the initial capital a pittance.
9. ET the Alien (1982)
budget of 10.5 million dollars
$792.9 million in ticket sales revenue
ET the alien break the record Star Wars: A New Hope, and that with half a million less budget. Count your profit. The video game that followed became the biggest flop in gaming history and announced the bankruptcy of Atari.
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