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.
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.