A struggling James Cameron had the screenplay for the sci-fi hit, but no one would let him direct it. That is, until he sold the full rights for $1. It all worked out though, because Cameron built his empire on the credit he earned from this film.
Edgar Allen Poe sold his most famous work to The American Review for only $9.
Inventor Walter Hunt came up with the idea to pay off a $15 debt to a friend. He ended up selling it for $400, which is more than the debt, but way less than what it was worth.
The Cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The husband and wife team who put together the iconic cover were paid 100 pounds each, and didn’t get any kickback from the 32 million copies.
The original inventors tried to market the sweet treat for years, but after so much failure, sold the rights for $450. Today, almost $500 million of Jell-O has been sold.
James Bond Theme
The song was originally penned by a guy named Monty Norman, but the producers hired John Barry (for 250 pounds) to re-do it and make it what you know as the classic theme. Norman was the one who reaped all the reward though, as he still holds the writing credit.
In its first year, the soda only earned about $50 for its inventor, who quickly sold it for $1,484. Since then, Coca Cola has made, like, a million-gazillion dollars or whatever.
The Red Vineyard
Van Gogh sold this oil painting for $1,600 in 1890. The thing that makes it even more tragic is that this was the only painting that Van Gogh ever sold.
The character was actually created by a Spider-Man fan that drew the suit for Spidey himself. He sold the idea to Marvel for $220 and Venom became one of the greatest comic baddies ever.
The Call of the Wild
Jack London sold the full rights of the book for $2,000, which was quite a payday in 1903, but not really enough to cover the classic status that his book achieved.