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Best Low-Budget Movies That Became Big Blockbusters



In today’s world, it is not a shock to hear that most Hollywood blockbusters continue to have huge budgets. Films that are being released in modern cinema often have hundreds of millions of dollars behind them, as directors are given as much money as possible to produce the best films that they can.

Of course, the bigger the budget does not necessarily mean guaranteed success. There have been several high-profile movies that have had big budgets that went on to be commercial flops. On the flip side, there have been many low-budget movies that have gone on to be huge success stories at the box office.

What low-budget films became huge successes?

When coming up with a list of low-budget films to have had success at the Hollywood box office, it becomes apparent just how many there are. There are some that have even gone down in folklore as being among the best films to have ever been produced.

Among those to have done extremely well include:

  • Rocky – had a budget of just $1 million and earned $117.2 million worldwide.
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding – budget of $5 million turned into $368.7 million worldwide.
  • Juno – $7.5 million was budgeted for the film, and it ended up making $231.4 million.
  • The Blair Witch Project – started with a $60k budget and grossed $246.8 million at the box office.
  • Star Wars – $11 million was budgeted for the first movie, but it would end up grossing more than $775.4 million before becoming a multi-billion dollar franchise.

What is possible to learn from low-budget films?

Given the examples that are provided above, it is clear that money was not the sole reason for the success of these low-budget films. In fact, it could be argued that the lack of money made available as a budget perhaps helped directors to be more creative and inventive as they worked on a shoestring budget.

With filmmakers able to spend, spend, spend in today’s cinematic world, they arguably do not have the limitations that were once experienced. They can throw money at certain things and spend until they get it right without discerning themselves with the overall cost.

Technology is no longer a barrier for those who want to create realistic movies while on a tight budget. Directors are able to craft their cinematic vision on a shoestring budget nowadays because it has become more accessible than ever, thanks to resources like free DaVinci Resolve templates and readily available sound effects that can be downloaded and freely used from the internet.

With the availability of cheap technological resources and software, money can be directed to other aspects of a film. It can be used for aspects that technology can not play a role on just yet, such as ensuring the best actors are possible to obtain or other resources that can enhance the shots that are used.

Can you tell the difference between a low-budget film and one with a huge budget?

While it may sound absurd in some realms to even ask, there may be some who are questioning whether you can spot the difference between a low-budget film and one that has a huge pot to work with.

Of course, there are a number of ways in which it is possible to identify certain differences, with the cast and the director typically big indicators of a film’s budget size. However, with technology and its continued development, it can be harder to see other differences.

The tech available can help actors and scenes appear to be in a location that they actually are not and save a fraction of the cost for the movie. This can be incredibly useful for those on a shoestring, as they can still make compelling, believable, realistic scenes without having to travel. Technology can also create otherworldly environments at a fraction of the cost, thus making it possible for directors to create what they want.

The film industry has become more accessible than ever before, and it would not be a surprise if we were to see more low-budget films start to rival the box office charts even more so in the future, despite the fact that so many others are able to generate budgets in the hundreds of millions.

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