Small budget, big box-office bling
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"American Graffiti"( Los Angeles County Museum of Art )
Worldwide Gross: $140 million
for George Lucas' coming-of-age tale set in 1950s Modesto, Calif., was filmed over the course of 28 days in Petaluma, California. Although it got turned down by almost every major studio, the film went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.