Although the investment in these films did not reach even a million dollars, their success was so great that they raised hundreds of millions of dollars .
These are some movies that did not receive a large investment, however the returns exceeded expectations. / Photo: Unsplash
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Every year thousands of films are released around the world, all with the intention and hope of being successful and making millions of dollars, which is more complicated when it comes to low-budget films that come from unusual ideas or inexperienced hands that are trying to break through into the film industry. However, there are very few that actually become popular and manage to earn millions, but it has happened. In fact, the most profitable films in history -which obtain the highest net profit- are those that started with a low budget and ended up becoming a success, these are 3 of the most profitable cases.
In 1979, no one was confident that a post-apocalyptic story could be a success. However, Australian director George Miller also decided to stop his career as a doctor and bet that this would be his first film, which would have a budget of only 200,000 US dollars according to En Naranja. In fact, Hypertextual reports that the art director had to borrow some ice cream ads for a scene, in addition to the fact that some collaborators were paid with beer. However, Mad Max was a success and managed to raise $ 108,500,000, earning 54,150% of what it invested. Its next installment two years later had a budget of $ 2 million and would be distributed by Warner Bros.
The Blair Witch project
If $ 200,000 seems like too little for a movie budget, this is three times more than what Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez had for The Blair Witch Project, a documentary-style film in which they invested just $ 60,000 in 1999. This money was enough to create what El País called “the first cinematographic phenomenon on the Internet”, thanks to the fact that both directors took advantage of this medium to sell their film as a real event about a local legend.
Although this film was an offense for film critics due to the lack of technical elements, its original and innovative idea added to its promotion on the Internet as a true story made it a success that raised $ 248,639,099, which meant profitability of 414.298% according to En Naranja.
A story somewhat similar to The Blair Witch Project, where an independent director executed an idea with his own hands, resources, and a small budget of only $ 15,000, but also thanks to a night vision camera, his own home as a recording studio, without a script and filmed in 10 days, Oren Peli managed to create the most profitable film in the history of cinema, with a revenue of $ 193,400,000 which translates into a 1,289,233% profitability, from according to En Naranja.
As a curiosity, the Hidden Cinema website reports that renowned film director Steven Spielberg could not finish seeing the sample and returned it because it was "haunted", in addition to the fact that each time it was screened at film festivals, spectators left. This fact, in addition to being promoted as a "true story", popularized the film.