Top 10 Best Movies with a Budget Under 5 Million Dollars

Movies are mostly made with big budgets, some costing hundreds of millions! But some of the best and most iconic movies were made with the relatively tiny budget of 5 million dollars or less. So here we look at the top 10 best movies that have a budget less than 5 million dollars!

The Top Ten

1 Rocky

I'm guessing that inflation doesn't count on this list, because if it did, then several movies on this list wouldn't be on this list. 2 or 3 million dollars was not a small budget for films made in the 1930s, 40s, nor 50s. Heck, 2 or 3 million dollars was a rather steep budget for the 70s. Paranormal Activity was truly made on a tiny film budget. When counting inflation, I can't say the same with most of the other films on this list.

I guess you are right, I should have put a bit more research into this list - Phillip873

A Philadelphia icon - phillysports

It's Rocky... - volgin


V 2 Comments
2 Whiplash

Greatest ending ever

Budget: $3.3 million
I was genuinely surprised that one of my absolute favorite movies was made on such a small budget! I've already talked about how much I love this movie, everything is great about it! And for 3 million bucks, the cinematography does look impressive! - Phillip873

3 Saw

Really? Wow, I thought that I'd cost way more due to all the gore scenes and traps used throughout the film. - Catacorn

My favorite horror movie. It's just so intriguing. - Sop

Easily the best movie on the list

Crazy in the best way

V 2 Comments
4 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Are you guys kidding me? The remake sucks! It has no character development, unneeded graphics that aren't that good, a psychopathic willy wonka and the glow of Tim Burton's worst work. The remake tried remaking what didn't need to be remade. - Awesomedoodlebug244

This movie sucks, except for Gene Wilder. The reboot is awesome. - 445956

For the time this film was made, I think 3 million dollars was bigger than the average movie budget.

The remake is better - robertoiglesias271

V 2 Comments
5 Napoleon Dynamite

Fun film with funny characters. Was surprised that it costed less then $1 million.

Amazing - robertoiglesias271

Budget: $400,000
Now I haven't watched this in years, but it's definitely a favorite for a ton of people I know, and it inspired a ton of new culture, Napoleon Dynamite is surely a classic. - Phillip873

6 Requiem For a Dream

Budget: $4.5 million
Regarded as one of the best and most depressing movies of all time, this film was made with a small budget, but is now seen as a masterpiece. - Phillip873

7 Reservoir Dogs


8 Paranormal Activity

This movie is trash. Willy Wonka is scarier than this. - 445956

Still, it's impressive how much money it made on such a tiny budget. - Phillip873

Budget: $15,000
One of the most popular horror movies of all time was on an incredibly tight budget of only 15k dollars! It sort of makes sense because of the "found footage" film, but it still was impressive at how much money it made, and how it became a big franchise! - Phillip873

9 Halloween (1978)

Budget: $325,000
Another iconic horror movie that most people have seen, but this one also has a super small budget! - Phillip873

10 Boyhood

This movie is trash. The Long Haul was more interesting than this. - AlphaQ

Budget: $4 million
Nominated for best picture at the 2015 Oscars, and filmed over the course of 12 years, Boyhood is a pretty unique movie I still have yet to see. - Phillip873

The Contenders

11 Psycho (1960)
12 Imitation of Life (1959)
13 A Clockwork Orange
14 Moonlight

I thought La La Land won...

Budget: $1.5 million
I have not seen it, but it did win Best Picture of 2017 at the Oscars, so obviously lots of people loved this movie, and it was also made with an impressively small budget. - Phillip873

15 Gone with the Wind
16 Donnie Darko

Best Movie, regardless of budget!

17 Taxi Driver
18 Rebecca (1940)
19 All Quiet on the Western Front
20 Casablanca
21 Battle Royale
22 Sunset Boulevard
23 All About Eve
24 Citizen Kane
25 Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

One of the best films of the franchise. Absolutely loved it. - Monarc6

26 Friday the 13th
27 The Thinning
28 Idiocracy
29 Bambi

(for 17 to 26) Really? I thought animation was expensive!

30 The Jungle Book (1967)

How good was Disney without using Comouter Graphics. Imagine a movie today with <5Mio...they pay more for voices in Animated Film these days

31 Peter Pan (1953)
32 The Skeleton Twins

Budget: $1 million
A beautiful and heartbreaking drama that not a lot of people know of. It also has some comedic elements.

33 Dumbo
34 The Rescuers
35 Lady and the Tramp
36 One Hundred and One Dalmatians
37 The Aristocats
38 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
39 Pinocchio (1940)
40 The Rocky Horror Picture Show
41 Eraserhead
42 The Wizard of Oz

Budget: 2.8 million dollars. - Drewman1211

43 Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1

I wonder how many poor souls won't give this epic philosophical journey about moral, religion and society a chance due to its topic and explicit sex. - Martin_Canine

44 Nymphomaniac: Volume II
45 Nosferatu the Vampyre
46 The Lives of Others
47 The Great Dictator
48 Paper Moon
49 Moon (2009)
50 Friday the 13th Part 2
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List Stats

200 votes
51 listings
345 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Imitation of Life (1959)
2. Psycho (1960)
3. A Clockwork Orange
1. Reservoir Dogs
2. Psycho (1960)
3. Donnie Darko
1. Whiplash
2. Rocky
3. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

View All 4

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