film-sales Reported Wins for Microbudget films and their metrics

I think an interesting and useful thread for all of us would be one where we collect and share case studies of indie films that were successful on some level. It feels like wins are pretty rare, but they do happen, and it makes sense to gather up some examples of times they did, and compare a few metrics so we can all kind of have an idea what films won and why. I think that it would be a good step towards identifyling what films tend to work and why. We all know family and horror films make it more often, but which ones? This could be a generally useful thread for filmmakers. We need to stop talking about Blair Witch and build an understanding of what's working in the market NOW.

So add as many metrics as you want, but here's the idea, numbers that can be compared between the films.

I'll do some research and add some real ones here, but for now I'll just make up a couple fake examples to establish the pattern.


The Gas Station - Horror

Budget - approx. 10k dollars

Sold For - 22k

Sold to - Shudder streaming America

Crew Size - 9

Time to Sale - 14 months

Eventual reach - 377k viewers


The Bells of San Flemming - Drama

Budget - approx. 30k dollars

Sold For - 82k

Sold to - Peacock

Crew Size - 21

Time to Sale - 18 months

Eventual reach - 824k viewers

Are we only talking about selling the movie? I did a $2000 feature that to date has made ~$10,000. It took three years to break even, then about $1000 a year after that. Not a big success, but given that's mostly YouTube ad revenue, I'm happy

Leap: Rise of the Beast - Christian End Times
Budget $2000
Earnings ~$10000
Crew Size: 2 on set, 3 in post
Platform: YouTube
Eventual Reach: 1.5 million
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Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

We discuss film strategies in vaugueries often, but I thought a strictly numerical comparison might have it's place

A Covered Bridge Journey
Budget: 10,000
Earnings: 13,000
Crew Size: 3
Platform: physical retailers
Eventual Reach: 4-500k
They also added another 25 million in marketing budget. People latch on to the 25k number and it's become a folktale in the indie film world. You should see where the director of the Blair Witch Project is now. That film was literally a huge win for everyone except the team that made it. Kind of a sad story, but it got buried under the hype. Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez were amongst the few actual winners, but both were right in the middle of the golden age of indie film.


Staff Member
The thing about the business world is that ideas have no value but once you produce SOMETHING even if its just a little something, it's no longer an idea and it can be given a value.

If you have a great film that needs a million dollars in audio post, it's a hell of a lot easier to show people a great film and get that money.
and its a lot harder to just pitch them the idea and say i'll need a million dollars upfront, they don't want to give a million dollars to nothing

so even if there is extra moeny involved, if you can produce something amazing with that 25k to show people you've taken the first step