Above all else, cinema is a medium designed to entertain its audience. But in order to do that, films need to make the mega bucks.
Unfortunately, this is a major problem with horror. Since the genre has a hard time bringing in money compared to more accessible blockbusters, horrors are usually made with a relatively small budget. As a result, the filmmakers mightn't be able to afford decent costumes, professional actors, proper camera equipment, or even colour. In situations like this, the director is grateful to make even a small profit.
Despite working around limitations like this, some indie hits defy all expectations. Not only do they end up influencing the genre and launching the career of the director and stars, they absolutely destroy the competition and dominate the box office. Although the filmmakers had to do everything in their power to scrape together enough cash to make a movie, some of them ended up earning a hundred times their budget or more.
Although it's impressive to see how successful these horror films became, it's all the more astounding when you take into account just how dirt-cheap they were to make.
10. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Based on the 1973 musical by Richard O' Brien, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a horror comedy of extravagant proportions. After a newlywed couple's car breaks down, they take shelter in the home of a cross-dressing doctor, who entertains his guests with his collection of oddities and scientific breakthroughs.
Because the film was masterfully crafted and based on a hot property, it was expected to turn a reasonable profit. But because of Tim Curry's larger-than-life performance as the mesmerising Dr Frank-N-Furter, The Rocky Horror Picture Show became a cult classic.
It brought in $170 million, becoming one of the most successful musicals ever during its time. Of course, that was just its original run. If you take into account all the midnight screenings the film had over the years, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has made approximately half a billion dollars.
What makes this feat more astounding is that the musical was only made for a measley $1.4 million. Every scene is so dazzling and sensational, you would never guess that the costumes were made at home or the props were constructed from cardboard!