Movies that made it big with a low budget
By Mechelle Haro (Layout Editor) -10/6/16
With The Blair Witch Project being remade, and coming out this year, it should be known that the 1999 version was a very big success. Not only that, but it was made using just a mere $60,000. With this in mind, it only seems fair to ask what other movies have become a big success using a small budget.
A movie that everyone must have seen would be Napoleon Dynamite. As hypable.com mentions, Napoleon Dynamite had “a budget of $400,000” but “pulled in $46 million and became a pop culture phenomenon.” The 2004 movie starred unknown actors and become known as the movie with the weird dancing legend and the “Vote for Pedro” slogan. Even with a budget of only 400,000 dollars, this movie somehow used new actors to make something unforgettable.
Another legendary movie that had a low budget was Rocky. Written by Sylvester Stallone, an unknown actor at the time, who then played the lead role in it, Rocky had a budget close to a million dollars and “went on to earn more than $117 million in the U.S. alone” (businessinsider.com). This 1976 rags to riches movie really proved that anything can be possible, no matter how hard it might seem.
Horror movies have also had the luck of pulling in a lot of money with a low budget, one of which has been the most successful with the lowest budget overall.
The Purge film series is actually one of the most recent movies to prove this. The first movie began with a $3 million budget and pulled in about $89 million worldwide. This increase in money has actually been passed on between the three Purge films with the most recent movie, The Purge: Election Year, pulling in “15 times its original $10 million budget” (inquisitir.com).
The most successful low budget movie of all time, however, would have to be the 1999 film, The Blair Witch Project, which started out with a budget if only $60,000 and ended up making $246.8 million when it came out. Bringing in the concept of a “lost tape” found footage, this movie was able to scare millions of people with only $60,000. The new 2016 version of the movie, however, wasn’t as successful and earned less than what it’s budget was.
With this list of some very successful, low budget movies, there is only one question, how were these movies able to be so successful with a low budget?
One thing that is present throughout these movies is that they all introduce new concepts, like the “lost tape”, while also introducing new actors, like Sylvester Stallone. Maybe the secret formula to a successful movie isn’t the budget, maybe it’s doing new things.
Even though a movie might have a low budget, it doesn’t mean that the movie will be terrible. Some movies might even go on to become pop culture icons, life inspirations, or someone’s nightmare. Maybe directors should consider their budget more when it come to what they they want to get across the audience.