10 Insanely Profitable Low Budget Films

Napoleon Dynamite


Budget – $400,000

Worldwide Gross – $46,140,956

Return – 5,668%

An odd boy named Napoleon struggles his way through high school in Jared Hess’ feature debut, which stars Jon Heder as the painfully awkward lead. It’s a coming-of-age story that appealed to the 15-year-old in us all, though most of us never danced to Jamiroquai on stage in moon boots.

Indie films and quirky comedies have almost become synonymous, and Napoleon Dynamite is a great example. The film’s humor is in its subtleties, and its success in the abundance of heart. It’s not the kind of comedy that has you rolling on the ground, laughing out loud, but it does leave you smiling from start to finish, which is just as enjoyable.

Napoleon Dynamite debuted at Sundance in 2004, and then received a limited release in June before going wide in August. The off-beat charm film turned it into a cult classic of sorts, and the result was a whole lot of money coming in.