Top 10 Highest Cost -Highest Revenue Movies VS Top 10 Lowest Cost - Highest Revenue Movies
From 1960 through 2009, 60% of the lowest cost (production cost less than $10 million) highest revenue (domestic box office greater than $175 million) movies were released in the 1960s and 1970s. The only movie on the Top 10 Lowest Cost - Highest Revenue list released from 2000 through 2009 is My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2002.
Note: Although Paranormal Activity in 2009 was a big hit on a reported production cost of $15,000 it doesn't make the list with only $108 million in domestic box office
Everything changed in the first decade of the 21st century! From 1960 through 2009, 80% of the highest cost (production cost greater than $150 million) highest revenue (domestic box office greater than $250 million) movies were released from 2000 through 2009. The only films with the highest cost and highest revenue released prior to 2000 were Cleopatra, 1963 and Titanic, 1997. If Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, with its production cost of $250 million, makes $250 million in domestic box office it will bump Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest off this Top 10 list.
Note: Superman Returns, 2006 would make the list in terms of cost with $337.7 million in 2010 $s, but with domestic box office of only $218 million in 2010 $s it doesn't make the revenue to meet the criteria.
Perhaps of more interest - only two of the 10 lowest cost - highest revenue movies are franchise films whereas seven of the highest cost - highest revenue movies are. Does that mean originality is a thing of the past?
Lowest cost - highest revenue films (20% Franchise Films)
1. The Blair Witch Project, 1999
2. Easy Rider, 1969
3. American Graffiti, 1973
4. Psycho, 1960
5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding, 2002
6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975
7. Rocky, 1976
8. Tom Jones, 1963
9. Porky's, 1982
10. Airplane!, 1980
Highest cost - highest revenue films (70% Franchise Films)
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, 2007
2. Cleopatra, 1963
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003
4. Avatar, 2009
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, 2002
6. Titanic, 1997
7. Spider-Man 3, 2007
8. The Dark Knight, 2008
9. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009
10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, 2006