Big budget movies are usually made by a team of experts with decades of experience in direction, production, cinematography, acting, editing and script-writing. In most cases, these movies stand a better chance in the competitive entertainment industry. However, ‘moolah’ alone is not the deciding factor. Many films, with below-average production budgets have succeeded in entertaining the viewers like others that required 10 to 50 times more expenditure, perhaps more. Listed below are the top 10 low-budget films of all time.
10. Pink Flamingos (1972):
A transgressive black comedy, ‘Pink Flamingos’ is considered to be one of the most controversial movies of all time. Its screening was banned in many parts of the world for its controversial content. However, the negative publicity helped the movie in grossing huge money worldwide. Made in a small budget of approximately $10,000 it raised over $ 7,000,000 worldwide post its release and gave way to a new genre of movies.
9. Night of the Living Dead (1968):
Completed in a budget of approximately $114,000, the movie was one of the biggest grosser around the world. It is still regarded as one of the top three horror movies worldwide and inspired many budding directors to try their luck at horror cinema. The movie is unmatched in its horror content and still stands proud in the list of all time favorite horror movies.
8. Once (2006):
‘Once’ is a very simple movie that was spun around the life of a boy and girl. Both lead characters in the movie shared common interest of song-writing. Amusingly, both of them were debutants and the movie was completed in a low budget of $150,000. The film was highly appreciated by the critics because of the storyline centered on music. The movie won an Oscar for the best original score.
7. Rocky (1976):
‘Rocky’ remains the best boxing movie ever made anywhere in the world. The movie is one fine example of low-budget films that made it big at the Box Office. Just $1 million was pumped into the project and it managed to earn back around $225 million worldwide. Sylvester Stallone packed a punch with the film.
6. PI (1998):
Completed with a budget of $60,000, ‘PI’ is one of the most critically acclaimed movies by Darren Aronofsky. The movie was based on the human weaknesses of obsession, seduction and loneliness. The important feature of the movie was that it didn’t boast of any big name and flashy camera effects. It was a gigantic success in most parts of the world grossing more than $ 3 million in revenue after its release in 1998 and inspired Darren to produce marvels like ‘Black Swan’ and ‘The Wrestler’, later on in his life.
5. Clerks (1994):
A wonderful movie based on the story of office workers, ‘Clerks’ was produced by spending just around $27,000. The movie, directed by Kevin Smith, set precedent for many more Hollywood movie directors in the time to come that could not afford huge investments. According to the box office collections of the movie, around $40,000,000 were collected worldwide. Interestingly, the movie was released only in selected theatres.
4. Primer (2004):
‘Primer’ is based on a story involving four friends with entrepreneurial zeal to bring out a new invention to surprise the whole world. It turned out to be a huge success. The movie was particularly appreciated by the young audience for its unique storyline and inspiring subject. The producer spent just $ 7,000 in making the film and made a whopping $ 424,760.
3. Deep Throat (1972):
The movie cost around $20,000 to its makers and earned an estimated $ 50 million post release. It gave rise to a new trend of adult filmmaking that was till then not considered to be a part of mainstream cinema. Famous adult film actress Linda Lovelace started her career with the movie. The movie inspired many talented movie directors to involve adult scenes in their films and exercise their creative liberty to a new level.
2. Mad Max (1979):
A movie based on wonderful action sequences and a dystopian Australia, ‘Mad Max’ is one of those few movies that amassed huge bucks worldwide. It only took around $200,000 to complete the movie and producers made as much as 2,100 percent profit on investment. The low budget movie helped in bringing Australian cinema on international stage.
1. Children of Heaven (1997):
The 1997 released Iranian drama by Majid Majidi is one of the most watched movies worldwide. It was based on the life of a brother and sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes. The movie was made with a very low budget ($ 180,000), not unusual in Iran. It was nominated for the Academy Awards in the ‘Best Foreign Movie’ category. ‘Children of Heaven’ made a total of $16,28,579 worldwide.