It is not surprising when a big budget blockbuster makes a ton of money. However, sometimes movies with very small budgets become huge hits and turn enormous profits. This list compiles the ten highest grossing independent movies of all time based on their return investment.

10. Clerks

Clerks follows a day in the lives of two convenience store clerks named Dante and Randal as they blow off work to talk about pop culture and play hockey. This movie was also introduced of recurring Kevin Smith characters Jay and Silent Bob to the world.

Kevin Smith financed his first movie, Clerks by maxing out his credit cards, selling a majority of his comic book collection and borrowing money from family and friends.
He eventually raised $27,000, which he used to make the film. The movie made just under $4 million for a 7,111 percent return.

9. American Graffiti

American Graffiti is about two recent high school graduates enjoying one final night cruising their hometown with their friends before they head off to college. The film ended up being nominated for an Academy Award for best picture.

The movie was based on George Lucas’s own experiences as a teenager.

He shopped the film around to several major studios before finally having it picked up by Universal Studios. The movie cost $777,000 to produce. It made an 8,909 percent return, grossing $140 million.

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