The most profitable film in history

The most profitable film in the world: made for Rs 6 lakh, earned Rs 800 crore; it is not Saw, Barbie, Kashmir Files, or Kerala Story.

The world’s most profitable film was made on a $15,000 budget and grossed $193 million.

Several low-budget films have outperformed expectations to become box office success stories over the years. Many small budget films have become blockbusters in India and abroad, rivaling the collections of larger tentpole films. For example, The Kashmir Files recently made a 2000% profit on a Rs 15-crore budget, earning Rs 341 crore.

But this pales in comparison to the astounding 13,30,000% profit made by one Hollywood film in 2007, making it the most profitable film ever.

The most profitable film in history

Paranormal Activity, a low-budget horror film written, shot, directed, and produced by Oren Peli, was released in 2007. Following in the footsteps of the 1999 hit The Blair Witch Project, the film was shot entirely on amateur handheld cameras or CCTV. The film’s skeletal crew and cast of only four people kept the budget to $15,000 (Rs 6 lakh at the time of publication). The ending was changed and some post-production work was added after it was acquired by Paramount Pictures, bringing the total budget to $215,000 (Rs 90 lakh).

The film was a sleeper hit, grossing a massive $193 million (nearly Rs 800 crore) worldwide. This resulted in the highest budget-to-collection ratio in cinema history.

The legacy of Paranormal Activity

The success of Paranormal Activity resulted in a franchise that included six sequels and spinoffs. The seven films in the Paranormal Activity franchise grossed a total of $890 million (Rs 7320 crore) worldwide on a budget of only $28 million (Rs 230 crore). Again, no other franchise has achieved such high levels of success. It also popularized the found footage genre, which was used by several independent horror filmmakers. The Last Exorcism, Apollo 18, The Devil Inside, and the V/H/S series are a few examples.

Paranormal Activity 1 Box Office: The Profitable Journey Of This $15,000  Budgeted Film Will BLOW YOUR MIND!

The most profitable films in the world

The Blair Witch Project held this title prior to Paranormal Activity. The 1999 film was made on a $200,000 (Rs 85 lakh) budget and grossed $243 million (Rs 1045 crore) worldwide. Tarnation, a 2003 film, was made on a shoestring budget of $218 (Rs 10,000) and grossed $1.2 million (Rs 5.5 crore). Deep Throat, a 1972 pornographic film, was made on a $25,000 (Rs 1.9 lakh) budget and grossed $22 million (Rs 17 crore). Eraser Head, a 1977 horror film, takes the final spot on this list. It earned $7 million (Rs 6 crore) at the box office despite being made on a $10,000 (Rs 87,000) budget.

The Blair Witch Project. 1999. Written and directed by Daniel Myrick,  Eduardo Sánchez | MoMA

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