Hollywood is a big league. Films, to be successful, need big stars, expensive props, and the best of technicians. All this costs money, a lot of money. Smaller films usually don’t work. This is because they can’t afford big stars, directors, sets, and all other things that go on to make a movie. These films usually end up earning way less than their big-budgeted counterparts. However, there are, like most things in life, exceptions. Films with small budgets manage to be crowd-pullers and end up earning huge amounts of $$. Films like these are quite rare.
It isn’t easy to make great films on small budgets. All the ingredients that go on to make a great film have huge price tags. Yet, some small-budget films manage to do so. When this happens, the cast and directors shoot up to stardom and have their careers made. Below, we take a look at 5 movies with the smallest production budgets that made humongous profits.
1. Annabelle (2014)
Cost: $6.5 million
Earnings: $37.1 million
This film received a few bad reviews from critics, but despite that, this film began, arguably, one of the best horror film franchises of the last decade. Its success was in part helped by the fact that it was a spinoff of the already successful Conjuring series. Building on the success of Annabelle, the second installment in the franchise, Annabelle: Creations was released as a prequel and went on to be an even bigger success. Made at a cost of $15 million, it earned a staggering $306.5 million worldwide.
2. Rocky (1976)
Cost $1 million
This film is a cult classic of American Cinema. It launched one of the most prominent and successful franchises ever, along with the carrier of a then-unknown, Sylvester Stallone. Although films further along the franchise made more money than the original, all of them owed their success to the hype that was created by the first. This was also made at the lowest budget of all films in the franchise, at $1 Million. It won 3 Oscars, including the one for Best Picture. Since the inception of the franchise, the films had earned a total of $1.7 Billion worldwide.
3. Saw (2004)
Cost: $1.2 million
Earnings: $103.9 million
Saw is a landmark and path-breaking film in the horror genre. It was a huge success and was followed by another 7 films. It also is considered one of the most-watched horror films and is loved by fans of the genre worldwide. The film was director James Wan’s debut film and was a solid start to an exceptional career. He was the man behind the hit Conjuring franchise that came out later. All 8 films of the Saw franchise have earned close to a billion dollars worldwide!
4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Earnings: $100.5 million
This was an indie film that blew up and was even nominated for 4 Oscars and won two of them. Although the film had a limited reach in the number of screens at which it was shown, it still managed to pull crowds and set records for itself. This film went on to make the careers of several of its cast and still remains one of the favorite films of many. Made at a cost of around $8 million, it minted just above $100 million worldwide, a massive success!
5. Juno (2007)
Juno was a small-time indie film that tackled a controversial topic. The budget was small, forcing a few stars to even take a pay cut. Yet, despite all odds, the film went on to become a massive success. Made for a paltry sum of $7.5 million, it became a huge success and earned north of $230 million worldwide. This was not all, it went on to win several Oscar nominations, including that for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a leading role, and won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. It was an especially big hit for young women, who related with the film for its realistic portrayal.