Bidness Etc’s list of the 5 biggest low-budget success stories in the world of cinema
1. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
The supernatural horror film is about a young couple who think that their house is haunted. The film – written, edited, and directed by Oren Peli – was shot in a way that made it appear to be “found footage” from cameras the couples had set up around the house. With a measly budget of just $15,000, the film was shot as an independent feature before it was bought by Paramount Pictures for $350,000. In total, the film grossed $197 million – which makes it one of the most profitable movies (in terms of return on investment) ever.
2. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
This strange coming-of-age comedy is about an awkward young man living with his extremely unconventional family – which includes a motorcycle-riding grandmother, a 32-year-old unemployed brother, and a llama. We also meet his equally awkward friends, who are all of trying to get through high school. The movie was filmed with a budget of $400,000, debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, and was then acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Paramount Pictures. Jon Heder, who plays the titular character, was initially paid just $1,000 for his work on the film. After the film grossed over $46 million, however, he renegotiated and received a share of the profit.
3. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Like Paranormal Activity, The Blair Witch Project is a fictional film that is presented as the footage of real events. This film started the style of horror movies as found footage. The story centers around three filmmakers who hike up to Maryland in order to film a documentary on the local legend of the Blair Witch. The film makers are never seen or heard from again, and according to the story, the footage and equipment is discovered by......continue reading