I've talked before about Mish Shedlock's observation that we've entered the Age of Frugality, which has since been echoed by major publications such as Business Week.

Well now, we're seeing this phenomenon in the movie business.  Paramount has committed to a new program to create 20 "micro-budget" movies starting in 2010.  This is regarded as a revolutionary step in that business, driven by evidence that you just don't need huge dollars of investment to create a huge return.

I've argued for awhile that the best & most profitable startups in the current era will similarly do more with less — the best opportunities for M&A and big returns over the next few years will be for those startups that purposefully *don't* take big investment.  These companies certainly won't be in favor of the service provider and "big VC" communities, but that may not be all that necessary moving forward.

It's interesting to see this now in the movie business… an industry that has been defined for so many years by "the blockbuster."