There is no point in denying it – movies are more expensive than ever. Production studios invest $300 in a movie without blinking an eye and for a good reason. If you have a good director and a solid cast, there is a great chance you’ll get your investment back and more. Some directors, though, regardless of their talent and aspirations, just can’t afford to make a movie about superheroes, and with low cost comes a low reward.
However, there are a few exceptions when a low-budget film exceeds all expectations and manages to prevail against all odds. When this happens, unknown actors become stars and directors are turned into legends. You’d be surprised by how many indie movies have become huge hits. Let’s check them out.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
Today, we all know Bruce Lee as one of the most celebrated martial arts movie stars ever, but he wasn’t always held in such esteem. Although his movies were big hits in Hong Kong, he was relatively unknown in the States until the release of Enter the Dragon. With a restrained budget of $845,000, Enter the Dragon grossed exceptionally well in the US, earning more than $20 in North America alone.
Viewers were mesmerized by Bruce Lee’s physical appearance and his performance in fighting scenes. Unfortunately, Bruce Lee’s premature death shocked the world, but Enter the Dragon will be fondly remembered ever after.
You might be wondering what the hell is Rocky doing here, but with a budget of $1 million, Rocky was one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, earning an astonishing $230 million. Stallone’s audition for the movie caught the attention of United Artists who agreed to finance the movie. However, they initially wanted to make some changes and to give the leading role to Marlon Brando.
Sylvester was persistent and demanded to play the main role, having full confidence that movie will be a success. United Artists eventually caved in, but they also severely cut the budget. The movie ended to be one of the greatest sports movies ever made, and the rest is history.
Mad Max (1979)
Nobody creates post-apocalyptic flicks better than George Miller, the director of Mad Max series. The franchise spanned almost 40 years, and its most recent addition won several Oscars and was regarded as one of the best movies of 2015. It’s hard to imagine that the whole project started with a budget of just $300,000. When the movie was released in Australia, it was a major hit. It had everything you could ask of a great action movie – intense car chases, borderline violent story, and solid acting.
The reason why Mad Max was filmed in Australia is that the costs of the movie were substantially lower than they would be had it been filmed in the US. The movie was a great success worldwide, making over $90 million.