Highest Grossing Independent Movies of All Time – 24/7 Wall St.

Special report

Independent films – or “indies” – are films produced outside the system of the major studios. They often differ from studio films in content and style. They are generally aimed at a smaller audience and do not feature superheroes or generate a lot of sequelae. They are also usually (but not always) produced with lower budgets than big studio films. This means that if they become hits, they can be very, very profitable.

To determine the highest-grossing independent films of all time, 24/7 Tempo examined worldwide ticket sales data for nearly 200 of the most popular independent films based on ratings on IMDb, a database online movies owned by Amazon; Rotten Tomatoes, an aggregator of online movie and TV reviews; and Ranker, a digital opinion database. Data on ticket sales and production budgets comes from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. Information on the cast and director comes from IMDb.

“Cult Classic” might be a cliché, but many of the films on our list deserve this accolade. For example, “The Graduate” from 1967 and “Easy Rider” from 1969 were part of the 1960s counterculture. They helped usher in the era of the new Hollywood film, when the big studios saw so many films. money could be made from low budget films by avant-garde directors. These films also starred Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson, respectively. (These were the biggest ticket sales hits of the 1960s.)

Some of the films on our list had small budgets. “Night of the Living Dead” was produced for $ 114,000 and grossed over $ 200 million. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” was produced for $ 140,000 and grossed nearly $ 130 million. “The Blair Witch Project” had a budget of $ 600,000 – tiny when adjusted for inflation – and made a whopping $ 450 million. (Here are the best horror movies ever made.)

Click here to see the highest grossing independent films of all time

There are also big budget movies and big stars that call themselves independent. For example, after the success of “Pulp Fiction”, Quentin Tarantino directed “Inglourious Basterds” and the two “Kill Bill” movies (all four are on our list). And showing just how broad the category is, the highest-grossing independent film of all time is “The Passion of the Christ,” grossing nearly $ 1 billion.