25 Low Budget Movies That Were Huge Hits

Posted by , Updated on July 8, 2014

Very seldom do low budget movies become big hits as they are generally not as appealing as their high-budget counterparts. However, there are some films that defy the logic of a high budget and eventually end up becoming extremely successful with earnings that blow all expectations away. Take a look for yourself with these 25 low budget movies that were huge hits.


“Rocky” Budget: $1 million Revenue: $225 million


An American sports film, Rocky was written by Sylvester Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen. Released in 1976, this film revolved around the rags-to-riches story of an uneducated debt collector named Rocky Balboa. The film became a sleeper hit, earning $225 million in global box office, receiving ten Academy Awards nominations and winning three.


“Napoleon Dynamite” Budget: $400,000 Revenue: $46.1 million


This 2004 comedy was directed by Jerusha and Jared Hess and starred Jon Herder as Napoleon Dynamite. The plot centers around a socially awkward high school student (Napoleon Dynamite) with a absurd set of life circumstance from living with a pet llama to training to be a cage fighter. In spite of the bizarre story, Napoleon Dynamite had a generally positive reception with praises from Rolling Stone magazine, the Christian Science Monitor and even Entertainment Weekly.


“Mad Max” Budget: $400,000 Revenue: $100 million


Directed by George Miller, Mad Max is an Australian dystopian action film that was released in 1979. Written by Byron Kennedy and George Miller, it starred Mel Gibson and once held the Guinness record for the most profitable film.


“Halloween” Budget: $325,000 Revenue: $70 million


Halloween is an independent slasher horror film written by Debra Hill and directed by John Carpenter. Released in 1978, Halloween became an inspiration for many slasher films testifying to the film’s genius. It’s hard to believe that this film had such a low budget. Interesting fact: Wallace created the mask work by Myers from a Captain Kirk Mask purchased for $1.98.


“Once” Budget: $160,000 Revenue: $20.7 million


An Irish musical film, “Once” was written and directed by John Carney and was set in Dublin, Ireland. It was released in 2007 and starred musicians Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard, who composed and performed all the songs featured in the film. The film was both a critical and financial success and even a received a Grammy Award nomination.

SEE ALSO: 25 Biggest Corporate Scandals Ever »

NOW WATCH: 25 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries Ever

Subscribe to List25

Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans