Hit Movies With Minimal Promotion

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Cinema Paradiso (1988)

The film has an interesting history, it released twice in Italy and bombed at the box office. It then won at the Cannes film festival and the Oscars which basically served as marketing. It became a box office success when released again.

Run Lola Run (1998)

A modern classic, the 1998 film had little by way of promotions but still managed to be one of the highest grossing German films of the year and garnered much critical acclaim.

Whiplash (2014)

It was a 2013 short film that won the Short Film Jury Prize at Sundance. It was developed into a feature and premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival winning the Audience Choice Award and the Grand Jury Prize. It got a limited release in the US and Canada and grossed 49 million on a 3.3 million budget.

Tumbbad (2018)

This critically acclaimed Marathi folk horror film did a festival run. It even played at the Venice International Film Festival. It then released in India across 578 theaters without much promotions. It gained even more popularity after being released on OTT platforms.

City of God (2002)

This famous Brazilian film set in the favellas of Rio De Janeiro made bank at the Brazilian box office and gained international acclaim.

A Separation (2011)

This compelling Iranian marital drama had a festival run, playing at Berlin and Theran. It got much critical acclaim and got acquired for distribution in Iran and UK. It had made about 24 million dollars at the box office by 2014.

Paranormal Activity (2015)

Made on a shoestring budget, it was acquired by Paramount for a high budget remake. However, Steven Spielberg asked them to release it as is after watching it. Paramount did make a Facebook page and a twitter account, where fans could post their reactions to the film after watching it but there were no substantial promotions beforehand.

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