Does budget matter in film making

Movies can transport viewers to distant or imaginary places, where they can be transformed by great storytelling. Whenever we watch a film, we call it a hit or a flop based on its entertainment value. But the most critical factor on which these two terms depend is the budget and the profit earned by the film.  Films can therefore be categorized into low budget or big budget flicks.

Every film maker wants to show his creativity to the audience on a 70 mm screen, but the bigger objective is profits, After all, this is a business and business means getting good returns on your investment.

A high budget film like Titanic, Jurassic Park, Avatar, The Avengers etc not only entertained viewers, but also generated good returns at the box office because of its story, content, star cast, etc. But some big budget films didn’t do well despite great marketing like John Carter, Stealth, Outlander and Hugo (Oscar winner), to name a few.

Here’s a look at the statistics of the most expensive films produced so far:

most expensive films produced

We all know that a film is considered as a hit if it earns more than the budget involved in making of the film (including the publicity and marketing).The next list has all the biggest hits (profitable films) in terms of the profit on worldwide gross.“Avatar” is the topper and 5 animated movies (2D and 3D) feature in this list.

5 animated movies (2D and 3D)

Similarly, if a film fails to recover its total budget, it is considered a flop. Nobody likes the word “FLOP”, but there are many films which fall into this category like the below.

film fails to recover its total budget

Next, we have more interesting figures. The previous list shows the list of those films who faced a huge loss but the next chart shows movies which lost everything at the box office.

chart shows movies which lost everything at the box office

Take this movie ’Zyzzyx Road’ -an American thriller film which was released in 2006 with a budget of $1.3 million but earned only $30 (Thirty dollars)!

People think that films become a huge hit only because of a great star cast or huge budgets. But there are many films which have proved this wrong. There are many low budget films which earned a lot in terms of percentage.

Look at the percentage return column in the below chart, you will find this one interesting.

films which have proved this wrong

After looking at all the numbers, we can safely conclude that a film’s success doesn’t depend on its budget, VFX, animation, star cast or even the director, but what makes the film a hit is its concept and the way it is executed.

Disclaimer: The above charts contain the figures from the box office. It doesn’t include the satellite right or DVD distribution earning.

Main source for the above figures:


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