15 Low Budget Movies That Cashed In Big At The Box Office

When it comes to making movies, one of the biggest obstacles is having enough money to bring a vision of movie magic to life. A lot of creative thinking, cutting corners and compromising comes into play, but these films found a way to keep cost low and cash in big at the box office!

Napoleon Dynamite


The story of an awkward teen who runs for class president was given a budget of $400K, and won by a landslide at the box office, pulling in $46 million dollars.
Lost In Translation

Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson brought the story of a washed up actor and a neglected young wife's unlikely friendship in Tokyo to life in this $4 million dollar movie.  It proved to be a resounding success, making $120 million worldwide.

The Blair Witch Project

This $60K horror movie was groundbreaking for not only being one of the first films to ever go viral, but also smashing box office records with a staggering $248 million in earnings.

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Sylvester Stallone's passion project about an underdog boxer was given just under a million to make ($995k to be exact), and packed a punch when it hit theaters, making $225 million



This funny and heartwarming story of teen pregnancy recouped the $7.5 million budget 30 times over with box office earnings of $231 million.

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My Big Fat Greek Wedding

$5 million dollar investment to make My Big Fat Greek Wedding turned into a global smash, raking in $368 million worldwide.

The King's Speech

This Best Picture Oscar winning film went from a humble $15 million budget beginning to a $414 million box office success.

Friday The 13th

It cost a mere $550k to tell the story of camp counselors being stalked and killed while reopening a summer camp, but the real killing was when it hit theaters and earned $59.7 million. Eep!

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Little Miss Sunshine

This cross country family road trip to a beauty pageant cost $8 million to make and won big time at the box office, bringing in $100 million dollars. 


This low budget $27k comedy brought out big laughs and a big return with over $3 million in sales at the box office.

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Slumdog Millionaire

With a $15 million dollar budget, the story of a young man recounting pivotal life events that lead to his success on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, blew away the box office with $377 million in earnings.

American Graffiti

George Lucas' major movie directorial debut cost $777k to make and went on to become a Hollywood classic, earning 5 Oscar nominations and over $140 million at the box office.

Mad Max

For twenty years, Mad Max held the Guinness World Record for highest profit-to-cost movie ever, with a $300k budget and bringing in $99.75 million at the box office.