The Blair Witch Project’s Success as an Independent Film


Blair Witch Project pic

Blair Witch Project

Experienced in restoring Colonial-era homes, Hampton Barringer Luzak is also a former casting director for Denise Fitzgerald Casting. Hampton Luzak was responsible for finding talent for first-time directors and independent filmmakers. Notably, her former assistant was cast in The Blair Witch Project, a low-budget independent film that grossed nearly $250 million worldwide.

Released in 1999, The Blair Witch Project is regarded as one of the most financially successful independent films of all time. Filmed on a production budget of $60,000 (though the directors cite a figure closer to $25,000), the film grossed more than $140.5 million at the domestic box office and $108.1 million globally for a combined gross of $248.6 million. These figures equate to more than $4,100 at the box office for every $1 spent on production.

The Blair Witch Project finished 1999 as the tenth highest grossing movie and the No. 2 R-rated film for the year. Two decades later, the film remains the fifth highest grossing R-rated horror movie and the highest grossing movie in the found-footage genre, a film style that crossed over into the mainstream following the movie’s release. As of 2018, The Blair Witch Project sits at No. 8 on the list of highest-grossing films produced without backing from a major studio. It should be noted that indie films ranked ahead of The Blair Witch Project, such as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, made use of significantly higher budgets.