Paramount's The Devil Inside caused film analysts to spit out the water they'd just taken a big sip of when it debuted as the first huge hit of 2012. The film (which was made for $34) nabbed the top spot at the box office with an opening of $34 million. That's huge! And good news for the creaky, breaking bones lady in the commercial; She's certain to be the toast of the town now. Can't wait to see photos of her breaking her bones for paparrazi outside da clubs.

What's most surprising here is that The Devil Inside garnered the very rare F rating from a thing called CinemaScore that apparently Joe Q. "I Wanna See Bones Twist" Public doesn't check in with before buying a movie ticket. That, combined with the impressive box office, make the film a surprise hit like the films listed below.

District 9

Budget: $30 million - Worldwide box office: $211 million

District 9 defied expectations when it toppled G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and The Time Traveler's Wife in its first week of release. Very little was known about the film's plot, lead, or director when it opened strong. Analysts then anticipated for its revenue to fall off after week one, following Cloverfield'sexample, but great word of mouth and awesome special effects pushed the sci-fi action commentary on to be a global phenomenon.

Slumdog Millionaire

Budget: $15 million - Worldwide box office: $362 million

Starring a cast completely unknown to American audiences, the Danny Boyle-directed film became the darling of the Academy Awards after its release in 2008. When the critics began to notice the film, the film then opened wide reaping a huge box office and making a household name out of Virendra Chatterjee.

Bring It On

Budget: $28 million - Worldwide box office: $68 million

Marketed as another run-of-the-mill teen comedy, Bring It On became a hit when older audiences took notice of it's better than average script. From there, it's spawned approximately 75 direct-to-DVD sequels, a Broadway adaptation, and helped Kirsten Dunst to annoy fanboys as Mary Jane in the Spider-Manmovies.

Little Miss Sunshine

Budget: $8 million - Worldwide box office: $100 million

Little Miss Sunshinedefied projections when it opened to half-a-million dollars with only seven screens showing it. Critics fell in love with the quirky film and that skewered beauty pageants, road trips, and dysfunctional families. America was soon reminded to never underestimate the charming allure of Greg Kinnear.


Budget: $33 million - Worldwide box office: $265 million

Expected to be a much smaller film, Bridesmaids stood up against the blockbusters to become the breakthrough hit of the year. Produced by Judd Apatow and billed as a female version of The Hangover, criticism of the film's first trailer wasn't entirely favorable. But buzz generated from early test screenings convinced everyone to check it out and word of mouth took over from there. But was there really ever any doubt? It does feature some excellent poop jokes.

Paranormal Activity

Budget: $15,000 - Worldwide box office: $100 million

Everyone knows this story by now. Paramount released the micro-budget horror film as an experiment to see how audiences would react. The money came pouring in and the low-budget business model was put into place leading to big profit hits in Insidious, two Paranormal Activity/ sequels, and now The Devil Inside. Meanwhile, Hollywood's big budget attempts at horror like The Wolfman and Drive Angry 3D fell flat.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Budget: $5 million - Worldwide box office: $368 million

My Big Fat Greek Wedding really helped the US Census to discover just how many Greeks actually live in the United States. The independent comedy from Nia Vardalos was a big hit with families and fans of racial stereotyping alike. And isn't that what really brings us all together?

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