Budget – $150,000
Worldwide Gross – $18,997,174
Return – 6,232%
The Irish musical film Once spent years in development with the Irish film board before it was given a green light, and even then, it was only permitted on the condition that the budget would be kept extremely low.
Once was wildly successful beyond just financial aspects. It won the 2007 Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film, the magnificently beautiful Falling Slowly won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the film’s soundtrack was nominated for a Grammy.
The film’s leads, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, come off so believably as musicians due to the fact they actually are musicians. Neither had any real acting experience or training before the film. That translates to cheap actors who are actually able to sing. The movie doesn’t suffer from it, but rather has such a real feel that it’s no wonder it did so well.