Every now and then we see news flashing on our entertainment channels about some blockbuster movie earning big. But only some of them make more than the regular news and become history. They are the ones whose earnings are not because of their high financial investments but because of their makers’ astounding talents. Following are few such movies that rose high despite of their bare minimum budgets.
1. The Blair Witch Project
Directors: Daniel Myrick,Eduardo Sánchez
Released Year: 1999
A walk in the woods and a project at hand turned out to be a nasty experience. The movie gave creeps to its viewers. The success points were before release effective marketing and the realistic setting that required talent but minimal finances. The hype and the rumors through internet which were a part of the overall promotion targeting worldwide audience were also the reasons behind the movie’s huge success. It had 16 nominations among which there were 11 awards won.
2. Paranormal Activity
Director: Oren Peli
Released Year: 2009 (Worldwide)
The movie may be Oren Peli’s debut as a director but its ROI and success ratios are record breaking. With the same concept of footage found, the movie is yet another example of the fact that finances are inversely proportional to horror creation when it comes to Hollywood’s scary movies. Paramount Pictures initially announced a limited release but later expanded it both nationwide as well as worldwide as a result of increasing viewer demands through Peli’s intelligent web viral marketing strategies.
Director: John Careny
Released Year: 2007
A romantic musical Once is a sweet drama of two on the rocks musicians and their relationship. The producers managed a low budget by simple single camera shootings and choosing locations such as their friends’ houses. The end result however is appealing as the film is highly rated both by audience and critics. The cheaper shooting ideas adopted by the producers not only saved them money but also made the film simple, less flashy and touching. Apart from the various nominations movie earned its music was icing on the cake winning the title song Best Song Academy Award 2007.
Director: John G. Avildsen
Released Year: 1976
Having high box office revenues this movie launched Sylvester Stallone as its lead actor. The story line was that of a small time boxer, written by Stallonehimself. Rumors were that he got inspiration from various other super hit movies as well as from an actual fight of the famous boxer Muhammad Ali. The blockbuster movie won three Oscar awards i.e. Best Film Editing, Best Director and Best Picture, had seven Oscar nominations and several other awards and nominations. It had sequels and video games released later. The movie was a success gateway for the lead actor Sylvester Stallone and set a new trend of sports movies in Hollywood.
5. Napoleon Dynamite
Director: Jared Hess
Released Year: 2004
Jon Heder the lead actor played Napoleon, a not so famous high school recluse, really well. His acting skills combined with the natural storyline reached out to the audience. Although critics took the ridicule on the small town nerd Napoleon negative, the viewers however, enjoyed the light comedy and original script.
6. Super Size Me
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Released Year: 2004
Mr. McDonald may not have liked this low budget documentary movie on fast food but it sure was an eye opener hit with the audience. Earning high gross revenues it showed what fast food could do to our bodies. Although the topic was regular but the manner of production and the addition of humor by Morgan Spurlock, the director, made the film worth watching.Morgan played a good host and also revealed other issues such as unhealthy school lunches, wrong exercise patterns and negatively changed life styles.
Director: Kevin Smith
Released Year: 1994
Clerks is yet another debut film of a talented director which despite its minimal budget attracted the crowds. Kevin Smith, a film school dropout showed the world that he had the flair for film making. The film’s edge was its appealing dialogues that were rough and blunt yet natural and comic. The story line and natural shooting were also a catch for the audience making the movie something that its viewers could easily relate to.
8. The Brothers McMullen
Director: Edward Burns
Released Year: 1995
For the director/writer/actor Edward Burns’ career, this movie turned out to be a breakthrough. He shined both in acting as well as directing arena after it. Later released by Fox Searchlight the movie became popular with the audience by its soft drama and comedy. The actors may be low profile but their natural acting added reality to the film.
9. El Mariachi
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Released Year: 1992
Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi was a really small budget movie that was made only for the Mexican Video market. Later due to the overwhelming acceptance that it got from its viewers and critics it was released by Colombia Pictures all around the theaters. In a shockingly meager budget the director/producer/cinematographer/writer has managed to make the film full of action, drama, thrill, humor and entertainment. The simplicity in the shootings and the creative and fresh ideas of the debut director clicked the audience and paved a success filled path for Rodriguez.
Earning: $1,000,000 (limited release)
Director: Richard Linklater
Released Year: 1991
With just a limited release Slacker managed more than a million dollars as its revenue. Slacker was also Richard Linklater the writer/actor/producer/director’s debut film showing the independent director’s fresh talent. His extensive research before script writing was evident in the movie’s impeccable dialogues. Linklater puts some simple, daily happening scenes in front of our eyes in such a manner that humor comes naturally with them.