Independent films — or "indies" — are films produced outside the major studio system. They often differ from studio films in content and style. They are typically aimed at narrower audiences, and they don't feature superheroes or spawn numerous sequels. They're also usually (though not always) produced with lower budgets than major studio films. That means that if they become hits, they can be very, very profitable.
To determine the highest grossing independent films of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed worldwide ticket sales data for nearly 200 of the most popular independent films based on rankings on IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon; Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator; and Ranker, a digital opinion database. Ticket sales data and production budgets came from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. Information on cast and director came from IMDb.