Paranormal Activity (2009)

movies that made 100 times their budget

Alright, one last horror film. We wanted to include Paranormal Activity because it basically built the career of producer Jason Blum, and also kicked off a series of imitators trying to make a ton of money off of basically no budget. It’s with Paranormal Activity that studios seemed to really recognize that horror fans are less picky than fans of other genres, and that the movies tend to be fairly cheap to make.

It’s a found footage movie shot with a stationary home video camera. Seriously, it could not be more lo-fi. Oren Peli’s initial production cost a mere $15,000, though once Paramount signed on they asked for a bit of a glow up, and a new ending, that cost $215,000.

Even so, Paranormal Activity was a horror hit, making $194.2 million and generating several sequels. It’s like the scary poster child for movies that made 100 times their budget.

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