6 Summer Films with the Largest Return

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This summer has seen a remarkable turnout at the box office with films like Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel taking theaters by storm. But an interesting way to look at the success of a film is how it performed relative to its budget. With ballooning production budgets, along with marketing that can sometimes equal the production costs, some films that seem like huge successes might not actually be as financially successful as you’d think.

The idea of judging a film’s success by its box office performance relative to the budget is an interesting way to look at some of the more successful films of the summer — some of which are more than a little surprising.

Of course, the methodology is somewhat flawed because a $200 million film that makes $500 million is likely more beneficial to a studio than a $10 million film that makes $60 million, even if the latter film made six times its budget. Still, it’s an interesting list to look at which reveals some of the surprise success stories of the summer.

For this specific list of films, we’ll only be looking at films that made $50 million or more at the box office since lower budget indie films would likely skew the ratio. It’s also important to note that even on films with a low budget, the marketing costs might actually run higher than the film’s budget.

Still, just looking at the what raw data, the list produces some interesting results for films in theaters this summer.

Here’s a list of the 6 best performing films this summer at the box office relative to their budgets.