People gravitate occasionally to the brilliantly made art low budget films, which is maybe one out of every 500 low budget films made.
– Roger Corman, American Film Director.
It is very convenient to think of movies as big projects with massive budgets, A-list actors, famous directors, and fascinating visual effects, but several blockbusters evidently contradict these stereotypes. Such movies, instead, have a low budget and win hearts because of their captivating story arches, intriguing plot twists, and thought-provoking portrayal of emotions.
A large number of low-budget movies move on to become huge box office hits and make millions. Possible some of the best movies to watch, these feature films prove that you do not need hundreds and thousands of dollars to bring outstanding cinema to the theaters. They defy all odds and shine bright solely based on the cluster of talent that comes together in making them, and acquire supportive feedback from both audience and critics.
Let’s take a look at some of the best low-budget films that made a huge success
Little MissSunshine (2006)
Budget: $8 Million
Worldwide Gross: $100 Million
Jonathon Dayton and Valerie Faris directed this movie. It is a tragic comedy with its plot revolving around a family on a road trip, to get their young daughter to the finals of a beauty pageant across the country. On their journey, they explore the psyches of society and human nature, as they start developing their character concerning the personalities they look up to. Little Miss Sunshine tackles major social issues like homosexual relationships, mental health, suicide, and negative societal standards.
The movie was nominated for four Academy Awards, out of which it won two. To this day, Little Miss Sunshine remains a fan favorite among varied audiences. This gem delightfully honors the great work of the entire cast and takes a simple story to extraordinary heights of humanity and humor.
Mad Max (1979)
Worldwide Gross: $8 million
Mad Max was directed by George Miller. This movie tells the story of a patrol officer turned vigilante, Max Rockatansky, and his quest for revenge after a malicious gang murders his best friend, his wife, and his son. It stars Mel Gibson as ‘Mad’ Max, Joanne Samuel, and Steve Bisley in lead roles.
$350,000 – $400,000 is a pretty inconceivable budget, considering the number of effects and stunts the movie had. Miller mentioned in a few interviews that the budget of Mad Max was so low that some of the crew members were paid in slabs of beer. This movie held the Guinness World Record for the most profitable film after it earned more than $100 million worldwide in gross revenue.
Budget: $7 Million
Worldwide Gross: $231 Million
Juno was directed by Jason Reitman. The movie is a coming-of-age story of Juno Macguff, a teenage girl who gets pregnant unexpectedly and confronts the pressure and complications of adult life. This film fits inside the genre of comedy-drama. It was praised by the audiences and critics because of its relatable take on the controversial topic of teen pregnancy.
Like Little Miss Sunshine, Juno blew up big time, too. By procuring nominations in a reputable amount of categories, it bagged an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The movie’s relevance and humor are what made it a huge hit, by stirring up a conversation surrounding such topics, which were stereotyped and perceived negatively. Juno received a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Worldwide Gross: $46 Million
Jared Hess directed this movie. It is a comedy film about a high-school student, Napoleon Dynamite, living with his quirky family and his dilemmas. His awkward romantic relationship with a fellow student and his friendship with an immigrant who wants to be a class president are two of the main aspects of the movie’s plot.
Making it to the list of 2004 must-watch films, Napoleon Dynamite has developed a cult following of “Vote For Pedro” t-shirt wearing fans. Movie-buffs were gifted with one of the most legendary dance scenes in the history of cinema, all thanks to Jon Heder who performed the part of this film’s protagonist. Irrespective of being Jared’s directorial debut, the movie earned 100 times its production expenses.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Budget: $60,000 – $80,000
Worldwide Gross: $248 million
Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez directed this movie. It is centered around the story of three young filmmakers who hike into the Black Hills to film a documentary about the Blair Witch, a local legend of Maryland. These students disappear but their footage and equipment are discovered later. This missing footage is the movie that the viewer sees.
The Blair Witch Project was undoubtedly one of the most successful horror films not only because of its distinct realistic portrayal of its plot but also because of its clever marketing campaigns. The movie held the Guinness Record for being the most profitable independent film with the highest budget to box office ratio, as it earned around 4000 times its production cost.
Get Out (2017)
Budget: $4.5 Million
Worldwide Gross: $255 Million
Get Out was directed by Jordan Peele. This American Horror Film is centered around the story of a young black man, Chris Washington, who visits his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage’s parents, and uncovers disturbing secrets about them which he had never imagined. Chris is played by Daniel Kaluuya, and Allison Williams stars Rose.
Get Out was praised globally for its writing, directing, and storyline. It went on to become a commercial success as it earned over $250 Million at the production cost of $4.5 Million. It was nominated for four Academy Awards and won an award in the category of Best Original Screenplay. The movie set a record for the 10th Most Profitable Film of 2017.
The Full Monty (1997)
Budget: $3.5 Million
Worldwide Gross: $258 Million
The Director of this movie is Peter Cattaneo. This British Comedy-Drama is set in Sheffield, England, talking about six unemployed men adversely affected by the declining steel-making industry. They form a male striptease act to make money, to fulfill their dreams, and for the main character, Gaz, to be able to see his son. The title is derived from an expression. ‘To go full Monty’, that is, to strip all the way, which the protagonists are willing to do.
Despite belonging to the genre of comedy, this movie touches on important issues like unemployment, impotence, fathers’ rights, body image, suicide, working-class culture, and homosexuality. The Full Monty received four Academy Award nominations and it won in the category of Best Original Musical or Comedy Score. It won the BAFTA Award for Best Film.
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