The writing on the poster says, “Who will survive and what will be left of them?”; “America’s most bizarre and brutal crimes!”; “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”; “What happened is true. Now the motion picture that’s just as real. “
A Massacre at the Box Office might be a better title. According to the International Movie Data Base: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre cost $83,532 to make and grossed $30,859,000 in the US alone. And remember, this was in the early 1970s, when it cost maybe two dollars to see a first run movie. And a movie like this would not have played in the nicer theaters so admission was probably one dollar. (Your servant was a college student in those days although I never saw the movie because it seemed so moronic.)
Subsequent rental income for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre once videos were invented was $14,221,000. Added to the gross from theater revenue, this is a return on investment exceeding 500%. To paraphrase PT Barnum:
…no one ever went broke presenting stories of blood and gore to the American people.
photo courtesy of New Line Cinema (c) 1974