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10 Huge Box Office Hits With Tiny Budgets

The multi-billion dollar Hollywood industry is an intriguing subject for anyone interested in how money makes the world go round. Generally in the movie business, the old adage that you have to spend

The multi-billion dollar Hollywood industry is an intriguing subject for anyone interested in how money makes the world go round. Generally in the movie business, the old adage that you have to spend money to make money rings true. But occasionally, a movie can stand out from the crowd not for its special effects, its A-lister cast or its hard-hitting, pervasive advertising campaigns; sometimes, a movie catches the public imagination based purely on democratically-assessed artistic merit and originality. In these (admittedly rare) cases, a movie that cost in the thousands to make can become a surprise worldwide phenomenon, raking in millions.

When planning a trip to the movies with your closest pals or as an alternative to an awkward first date with a guy your friends set you up with, you probably aren't taking into consideration the budget of the film. Instead, you might be more concerned with who's in the film, what sort of reviews it received, and what kind of snacks you want to spend a big chunk of money on- why a small bag of popcorn and a drink costs $20 is beyond us! Even if you're a special-effects fanatic, and you're aware of the film’s budget - and are reluctant to see it if the price tag on the production set is well under the multi-million dollar mark - keep in mind that the budget does not always reflect the quality or outcome of the film; especially in terms of profit. Of course, some famously big budget films like James Cameron's Avatar and the latest Batman have indeed grossed billions worldwide; but as far as box office profits go, this list is proof that producers don't always need to invest a lot of money in order to get a big pay-out. Several of the movies on our list had incredibly small amounts of money to work with and ended up making a substantial amount of green, through creative advertising campaigns, unique selling points or for some - perhaps - total fluke. These are 10 of box office hits that surprised the producers, the actors, and the world with comparatively enormous box office success.

10 Once: $150,000 budget - $9 million worldwide gross

9 Fireproof: $500,000 budget - $33 million worldwide gross

8 Garden State: $2.5 million budget - $35 million worldwide gross

7 Napoleon Dynamite:  $400,000 budget - $44 million worldwide gross

6 Open Water: $500,000 budget $54 million worldwide gross

5 Saw: $1.2 million budget - $55 million worldwide gross

4 Jackass: $5 million budget - $64 million worldwide gross

3 The Purge: $3 million budget - $89 million worldwide gross

2 Paranormal Activity: $15,000 budget - $107 million worldwide gross

1 The Blair Witch Project: $60,000 budget  - $140.5 million worldwide gross

Horror movies feature heavily on the low budget, big profit movie circuit - and this film at the top spot on our list was the original little horror movie that could. When The Blair Witch Project was released in 1999, it truly was the first of its kind and a game-changer in the horror genre. Fans flocked to the theaters to see the horror documentary that covered 'real' events. The “found footage” and “documentary” style of the film would later inspire countless other productions such as the Paranormal Activity series and Cloverfield. The film follows three student filmmakers who are trekking through the Black Hills in search of evidence of the Blair Witch. During their expedition, the students have a series of bizarre and frightening encounters all of which are documented by their cameras. All three students disappear by the end of the movie, leaving viewers wary about entering haunted woods...

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10 Huge Box Office Hits With Tiny Budgets