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Top 7 low-budget movies that proved to be huge successes

Kurtis Avatar By: Kurtis | Last updated September 6, 2020

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The movie industry is a very profitable business that spins around millions and millions of dollars. Hollywood productions rely on budgets that most of us can’t even pronounce or dream of achieving, not even in ten lifetimes. The public is usually trained to believe that huge productions need huge budgets and cheaper movies are dull. This is an unfounded preconception that has been constantly dismantled throughout the time. No budget can ever beat a skillful director, well-chosen cast and a good storyline and there are Walk of Fame actors that got famous after starring in low budget movies that proved to be real hits.    

Here are 7 movies that turned out to be huge successes, in spite of their modest budget.

Once. (2007) An Irish romantic drama directed by John Carney, about two struggling musicians from Dublin (played by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. The movie budget was $150,000. Box office: over $23 million, meaning a profit of 13,700%. The movie soundtrack was nominated for the Grammy Awards, the movie won the 2007 Independent Spirit Award for best Foreign Film.

Night Of The Living Dead (1968). An American indie horror movie, directed by George A. Romero and starring Judith O’Dea and Duane Jones. 7 people are trapped in a house in the country in Pennsylvania, along with living dead monsters. The budget for this film was $114,000. Box office: $30 million. Profit: 26,200%

El Mariachi (1992). An American western directed by Robert Rodriguez, starring Carlos Gallardo, Peter Marquardt and Consuelo Gomez. The movie budget: $7,000. Box office: $2 million. Profit: 29,100%

The Blair Witch Project (1999). An American horror movie directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez and starring Heather Donahue, Michael c. Williams, Joshua Leonard. Three film students hike in a forest in Maryland in order to shoot a documentary and they all disappear. The budget of the film was $60,000. Box office: over $248 million. Profit: 414,300%

Paranormal Activity (2007). An American supernatural horror directed by Oren Peli, first one from the series. Stars: Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat. A couple is haunted in their home by a supernatural presence. The budget for the movie: $15,000. Box office: over $193 million. Profit: 1,289,000%

Open Water (2003). An American horror directed by Chris Kentis, starring Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis. A couple who went scuba diving in the Caribbean accidentally gets left behind by the rest of the group, in the middle of the shark populated waters. The budget of the film: $120,000. Box office: over $54 million

Rocky (1976). An American classic, a sport drama directed by John G. Avildsen. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith. It tells the story of Rocky Balboa, a poor, uneducated Italian boxer from Philadelphia who ends up fighting in the World Championship. The budget of the movie was $1,1 million. Box office: $225 million. Profit: 20,400$.