Indie Films, Genre, Structure

How do certain indy films (Little Miss Sunshine, Lost in Translation) achieve Hollywood-style success while others don’t?

I want to return to Little Miss Sunshine, because the film came up in my class today (after class, really). I was speaking with three students who plan to do a group presentation soon. My students are free to come up with their own topics and can structure presentation any way they wish, provided the presentation prompts a class discussion that helps us understand the larger issues of class (this is my American genres class, so the groups should help us advance–in interesting and not-necessarily academic ways–our understanding of genre). The group wants to talk about the indy film as a genre. My first thought was that the indy film is essentially anti-generic. But I didn’t want to dismiss the idea outright (frankly, I don’t know if the indy film can be called a genre or not–it’s an interesting problem), so I asked them to give me some examples.
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