Gracie Films struck gold with Cameron Crowe's 1996 box-office smash Jerry Maguire. After that film's surprise success, Hollywood giant DreamWorks Pictures jumped at the opportunity to produce Crowe's next film.
DreamWorks, as it happens, was co-founded by a pretty decent filmmaker named Stephen Spielberg. Spielberg loved Crowe's new script and pretty much gave him free reign on the project, throwing a $60 million budget into the deal (source). Our friends at Shmoop Math tell us that's a lot of money.
Unfortunately, while Almost Famous would go on to garner critical acclaim, it didn't exactly pull its weight at the box office, closing the year somewhere behind instant classics like Scream 3 and Dracula 2000.
Though Almost Famous didn't show anyone the money at the time, it did help DreamWorks's case when Cameron Crowe took home his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.