An easy buck
Lions Gate not only acquired the distribution rights to the aforementioned independent success, ‘Kick Ass’, it has a record for securing low budget films and winning decent box office returns.These include Cabin Fever (budget: $1.5 million; gross revenue: $33 million) Open Water (budget: $130,000; gross revenue $54 million), and the hugely successful franchise, Saw ($848 million gross revenue).
“Savvy, genre films”
“These low-budget filmmakers do not want to make art films, but savvy, genre films. The films have an indie edge, but they are still violent, action films and they need Hollywood endorsement.”
One industry observer who wants to remain anonymous takes a cautious view of the latest direction of the low-budget trend, arguing that The Blair Witch Project sparked a wave of what he describes as trashy, genre films, primarily conceived for a multiplex audience dominated by 16 to 25 year-olds, primarily male.
Paranormal Activity is another low budget success story of recent years; following the template of The Blair Witch Project (budget: $22,000; gross revenue: $248 million), it utilised hand held cameras to create a mockumentary full of suspense and a varied and hard hitting marketing campaign to gain success: budget: $15,000; gross revenue: $194 million.
However, don’t let the ‘budgets’ fool you, all of these films rely heavily on marketing, indeed Paranormal Activity total marketing spend was said to be well over $20 million…