From the NY Times:
‘Earlier this week Forbes had an article on the return on investment on this summer’s films, noting that some have still not collected box office grosses that exceed their original production budgets. “R.I.P.D.,” for example, cost $130 million to make, but has earned shy of $50 million at the global box office, according to Box Office Mojo.
The horror movie “The Purge,” on the other hand, cost $3 million to make and has grossed nearly $80 million worldwide. That’s a box office return more than 26 times the original cost. The Forbes article then observed that “Horror films are definitely Hollywood’s best bet in terms of turning a profit.”’
It turns out that documentaries make even more money! But the data is skewed because the study only takes into account movies that made at least $ 2 million — which rules out a lot of docs.
Action and adventure movies, despite their popularity, are last in terms of ROI. Even behind westerns, ahem. They make tons of money when they hit big, but most of them also cost tons of money, so it’s much harder to turn a profit.