The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters

Find out “The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters” You could forget we are in a time of austerity in this era of multimillion-dollar movies and the eye-popping salaries offered to some stars.

However, there hasn’t always been a giant pot of money for the great bulk of the film business. But despite this, some of the best movies in recent memory have been created on a shoestring budget, and in some cases, literally with a shoestring.

The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters

As a matter of fact, the cutting edge of filmmaking thrives, and smaller budgets allow for more innovative concepts and, as a result, more compelling films. Before we get started, it should be noted that since contemporary is defined as having occurred during the past 15 years, we have only picked movies released between 1997 and the present. The movie must have been released in theaters and must be in the English language. I

Here is a list of the twenty finest low-budget movies to serve as evidence.

1. The Blair Witch Project

The first movie on the list is The Blair Witch Project. It exposed viewers to a distinct subgenre of horror films and established the style for many that came after. The indie film, which follows a group of student filmmakers as they try to track down an urban legend, was the first to rely on a viral internet marketing campaign claiming that the events of the film were true, even though it wasn’t the first “found footage” horror movie.

The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters
The Blair Witch Project made $246.8 million worldwide ( Source : collider )

In addition, even though it only had a $60,000 budget, it managed to gross $246.8 million at the box office globally, including $140.5 million domestically. When we tell you that the movie was created in eight days without a completed script, this number will probably seem even more astounding.

2. Juno

Juno had a huge effect on a little independent picture that cost only $7.5 million to produce. Jennifer Garner had to accept a wage reduction for the movie because of the tight budget. Surprisingly, the Elliot Page and Michael Cera-led film made $231.4 million worldwide, with $143.4 million of it coming from domestic sales.

Juno cost only $7.5 million to produce.
The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters – Juno cost only $7.5 million to produce.( Source : wallpapersden )

Moreover, the movie was nominated for a respectable number of Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Jason Reitman), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Page), and Best Original Screenplay, and it won the award for the latter. Thanks to its funny and genuine approach to a contentious subject, the movie was a big success, especially with young women.

3. Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine, an independent film, experienced similar success as Juno. Following its release in 2006, the film received two wins and four nominations for Oscars. The $8 million films ended up grossing $100.5 million globally, including $59.9 million domestically.

$8 million Little Miss Sunshine earned $160 million globally
$8 million Little Miss Sunshine earned $160 million globally( Source : wallpaperaccess )

As a matter of fact, even more astounding, just 1,602 cinemas saw the movie throughout its broadest distribution. Fox Searchlight seized the chance to purchase the movie for the pittance of $10.5 million when the first viewing of it was met with a standing ovation. The movie is still a popular favorite among viewers today.

4. Annabelle

Despite some unfavorable reviews from reviewers, Annabelle was created on a $6.5 million budget and was a huge success in theaters. The eagerly anticipated horror film brought in $37.1 million. Naturally, the fact that the movie was a spin-off from the popular Conjuring series helped.

Annabelle was created on the budget of 15 million
The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters – Annabelle was created on the budget of 15 million( Source : wallpapersden )

Similarly, following the success of Annabelle, a prequel titled Annabelle: Creation was published in 2017. Due to Annabelle’s popularity, a prequel was made with a $15 million budget, and it ended up grossing an astounding $306.5 million globally, including $102 million domestically.

5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

The theatrical run of My Big Fat Greek Wedding was almost a full year. The movie was able to make a lot of money because of its extended run. A $5 million budget generated $368.7 million ($241.4 million domestically) in revenue. Despite only being shown in 108 theaters during opening weekend, the movie brought in $597,000.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding's had 5 million budget
My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s had 5 million budget( Source : vogue )

Furthermore, my Big Fat Greek Wedding made up to No. 2 after 20 long weeks in cinemas and spending 17 weeks in a row in the Top 10. Astonishing nominations for awards followed outstanding figures. Both the movie and Nia Vardalos received nominations for Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars and Best Picture at the Golden Globes. Unfortunately, despite having an $18 million budget, the sequel fell short of the first.

6. Rocky

If you excel at Rocky trivia, you might be aware that the first movie in the successful series isn’t even the highest-grossing one. Nevertheless, none of the subsequent movies came close to the absurdly low $1 million budget of the first, which nevertheless earned $117.2 million worldwide.

Rocky had absurdly low $1 million budget
The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters – Rocky had absurdly low $1 million budget( Source : collider )

Sylvester Stallone, who was unknown at the time, starred in Rocky, which took home three Oscars, including Best Picture. Over the years, the Rocky picture series has grown to be so well-liked that it currently occupies the top four positions for highest-grossing boxing movies. The series has made an astounding $1.7 billion since the 1976 premiere of the movie.

7. Saw

In the horror genre, Saw was and continues to be a huge blockbuster. On a $1.2 million budget, it dominated the box office, earning $103.9 million globally. Saw has grown to be one of the most renowned horror series in film in addition to earning large cash in theaters.

Saw movie earned 103 million globally
Saw movie earned 103 million globally( Source : maddownload )

The youthful James Wan made his filmmaking debut with the original Saw, and he got off to a fast start, finishing the movie in just 18 days! Wan went on to be the brains behind the wildly successful The Conjuring movie series. The cumulative gross of all eight Saw movies comes just short of the coveted $1 billion milestones.

8. Moonlight

The way that black and LGBT cultures were portrayed in the movie Moonlight was crucial. Barry Jenkins, the main character, has major life transitions, which are followed in the film. It explores the emotional abuse he had as a child as well as his difficulties with sexuality and identity.

“Moonlight” was most moving and compelling movies of the year.
“Moonlight” was most moving and compelling movies of the year. ( Source : keeping-it-reel )

A cast of remarkable performances was followed by a memorable Oscars moment when it took home the Best Picture prize after La La Land was given it in error. The critically acclaimed film barely cost $4 million, but it earned $65.3 million globally.

9. Mad Max

Despite being praised by critics and having a sizable fan base, the dystopian film Mad Max, starring a teenage Mel Gibson, was only created for $300,000. The futuristic Australia-set action movie from 1979 recounts a narrative of social breakdown, murder, and retaliation.

Mad Max Movie was a movie made in 2015
Mad Max Movie was a movie made in 2015 ( Source : superiorwallpapers )

The movie once broke the record for a most profitable picture by earning $378.9 million globally, including $154.1 million domestically. The movie is also credited with helping Australian New Wave movies gain international recognition. Three sequels to Mad Max—Mad Max 2 (also known as The Road Warrior), Beyond Thunderdome, and Fury Road—created a franchise.

10. Split

Split, a 2017 horror movie, was produced by M. Night Shyamalan on a $9 million budget, which turned out to be an excellent choice. The split was created by Shyamalan as a loose continuation of Unbreakable (2000). The narrative centers on James McAvoy, a dissociative identity disorder sufferer who abducts three adolescent girls.

This movie brought in $278.5 million globally
This movie brought in $278.5 million globally( Source : co )

In the end, the movie brought in $278.5 million globally. The movie garnered favorable reviews, with a rating of 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, and has been nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Thriller Film. With this film, Shyamalan crossed the $100 million domestic box office barrier for the sixth time.

11. Star Wars

As the highest-grossing movie of all time prior to Steven Spielberg’s E.T., George Lucas’ magnum masterpiece Star Wars scarcely requires an introduction. Star Wars, which cost just $11 million to produce, made an astounding $775.4 million at the box office and went on to become a multi-billion dollar franchise.

Star Wars made staggering $775.4 million
Star Wars made staggering $775.4 million( Source : wallpapersden )

In light of the franchise’s double-digit number of sequels, prequels, television shows, made-for-TV films, novels, and merchandise—so much merchandise—Star Wars was merely the tip of the iceberg. Lucas had no clue how influential his modest independent picture would become decades later.

12. Halloween

John Carpenter’s career as a filmmaker was boosted by the 1978 American independent film Halloween, which popularized the slasher subgenre with viewers. The film was merely the first of a series that continues to produce television shows, books, comics, products, and even video games.

Halloween is a 1978 American independent film
Halloween is a 1978 American independent film( Source : wallpapersden )

With a $300,000 budget, the cult hit brought approximately $255.5 million globally. Jamie Lee Curtis’ complete dress cost $100 at J.C. Penney, while Michael Myers’ infamously terrifying mask was only a $2 Captain Kirk mask that had been spray-painted white. The performers performed many sequences in a single take because the production was so cheap.

13. Lost in Translation

With three additional nominations including an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, Sofia Coppola’s film Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, took home the prize. The grim-humored movie cost $4 million to produce, yet it grossed $119.7 million worldwide, including $44.6 million in the United States.

The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters
Lost in Translation, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray.( Source : peakpx )

Only 23 screens were available when the movie first debuted, with an average ticket price per theater of just over $40,000. This was the highest per-theater average for a film of this size in 2003. Given that it remained in cinemas for 196 days, despite the limited distribution, it nevertheless managed to perform well at the box office. Due to Sofia Coppola’s prior success with The Virgin Suicides and a well-praised performance by Bill Murray, the movie attracted significant attention.

14. Pulp Fiction

Due to his successful films in the 1990s, Quentin Tarantino has grown to be one of the most well-known personalities in Hollywood. Tarantino received seven Oscar nominations, an Academy Award, an Oscar, and a Pal d’Or Award at Cannes with Pulp Fiction, which established a sizable cult following.

The iconic film that was created on an $8 million budget
The iconic film that was created on an $8 million budget ( Source : colliderimages )

The famous movie, which cost $8 million to make, outperformed forecasts by earning $213.9 million globally. It’s hardly surprising the movie went well in cinemas given its stellar ensemble, which also included John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, and Uma Thurman. Pulp Fiction has continued to be a cultural phenomenon since its 1994 premiere.

15. Napoleon Dynamite

On a meager $400,000 budget, the 2004 comedy Napoleon Dynamite was produced. The actor who portrays the movie’s main character, Jon Heder, received just $1,000 for his efforts! Additionally, the film was edited on a Mac at producer Jeremy Coon’s residence.

The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters
Napoleon Dynamite made $46.1 million worldwide( Source : moviesanywhere )

Heder renegotiated his remuneration for the movie and gained a share of the earnings when it became a major hit. $46.1 million was produced by Napoleon Dynamite globally, including $44.5 million domestically. The movie has a sizable fan base and was ranked No. 14 on Bravo’s list of the 100 Funniest Movies.

16. Get Out

Prior to directing this horror movie, Jordan Peele was already well-known in the comedy world. The movie Get Out only cost $4.5 million to produce, yet it became a major hit. A total of $255.4 million was made worldwide.

Get Out went on to make $255.4 million worldwide.
Get Out went on to make $255.4 million worldwide.( Source : collider )

With the assistance of inventive marketing strategies, Get Out was a movie of a distinct class and earned $33.3 million on its first weekend. Even though the film was released over a full year before the nominations were announced, it received four Oscar nominations because of its immense popularity.

17. Super Size Me

The way we view McDonald’s and other fast-food establishments has altered as a result of this documentary. In the 2004 film, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock experimented with eating just McDonald’s meals for 30 days to see what would happen.

The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters
The shocking documentary was created on a $65,000 budget, but went on to make $20.6 million worldwide.( Source : collider )

To taste every dish on the menu at least once, Spurlock would dine at Mickey D’s three times a day. Spurlock put on 24 pounds as a result, which also caused him to have higher cholesterol, mood swings, and liver fat build-up. Despite having a $65,000 budget, the horrific documentary managed to earn $20.6 million globally.

18. Donnie Darko

Since its release in 2001, Donnie Darko has traveled on a remarkable journey. Many people are still perplexed as to how this little-funded movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Drew Barrymore came to be known as the timeless cult masterpiece it is today.

Donnie Darko made $7.5 million worldwide
Donnie Darko made $7.5 million worldwide( Source : peakpx )

Richard Kelly, the director, said “The film’s $4.5 million budget was set before we began production in 2000. For a first film, there was a lot, but Drew was involved and she was part of the casting.” Gyllenhaal has said that he has never understood Donnie Darko, despite the fact that the movie was made in just 28 days, and is credited with helping to establish his career. The film earned favorable reviews for the plot and went on to gross $7.5 million worldwide.

19. The Terminator

Early in the 1990s, a tiny movie called The Terminator was released with hardly any advertising. James Cameron, the film’s writer and director, had been residing in his car and had just been busted sneaking into the editing facility for his last movie, Piranha II: The Spawning.

The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters
This movie went on to make $78.4 million worldwide( Source : wallpapersden )

Cameron had no idea that The Terminator would go down in history as a renowned series. No one could have anticipated the amount of money that would roll in following its premiere with a production budget of only $6.4 million. The movie eventually earned $78.4 million globally. One of the most well-known lines from the movie, “I’ll be back,” has been mentioned several times. The Terminator, who did return exactly as he had predicted, says it in a chilling manner again and again.

20. Insidious

The technique of making a low-budget movie into a million-dollar movie was mastered in this horror thriller. How was a movie this scary made with under $800,000 possible? When the little movie’s popularity surged, directors and filmmakers were perplexed. Given that it was the most successful movie of 2011, many people referred to it as the new Paranormal Activity.

The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters
The Top 20 Best Low-Budget Movies That Still Became Big Hollywood Blockbusters – Insidious earned a cool $99.9 million.( Source : com )

Insidious centers on a family that learns that evil spirits have taken over their house and put their kid in a coma. They learn that their house was not haunted after they leave and manage to flee. The film was well-received by critics and word-of-mouth undoubtedly kept it afloat as it finally brought in a respectable $99.9 million.

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