The Top 6 Highest Grossing Horror Movie Franchises
Everyone differs on what may be the best or scariest horror movie, but which ones were popular enough to rake in the most money? From "Scream" and "The Ring" to "Nightmare On Elm Street" and "Paranormal Activity," there have been popular horror movies for every generation. However, only a few dominated the box office.
6: Friday The 13th
"Friday the 13th," the franchise that helped define the horror movie genre with leading psycho Jason Voorhees, has not produced a massive hit since the '80s. The original film earned $39 million, but many of its sequels were box office flops. Incredibly, "Friday the 13th" still managed to make this list -- and it did so by having more sequels than most horror franchises. Collectively, the nine Jason Voorhees flicks grossed more than $252 million in America.
If nothing else, "Halloween" will be remembered for its impeccable, inescapable soundtrack. The eerie and infectious score set the tone for future generations of horror movies -- and even a few games, such as "Parasite Eve." The "Halloween" franchise earned an impressive $305 million domestically, which would explain why The Weinstein Company hopes to release a new chapter in the near future.
4. The Exorcist
"The Exorcist" franchise is mostly comprised of low-budget, low-earning movies. The original chapter saved the day, however, earning $193 million at the box after it was released in 1973. When adjusted for inflation using the US Inflation Calculator, "The Exorcist" is worth $1 billion. After being re-released 14 years ago, the film added another $39 million to its total. The other "Exorcist" flicks haven't fared so well, but their collective total -- roughly $329 million -- is huge.
"Scream" could have been number one. The first two films made more than $100 million from domestic theaters, followed by $89 million from the third. Unfortunately, movies tend to lose their steam by the time they get to the fourth chapter. This is especially true when there's a long gap between releases ("Scream 3" and "Scream 4" were released 11 years apart). By the time "Scream 4" arrived, consumers either had lost faith in the franchise or simply didn't care anymore. That film earned just $38 million. All told, the franchise made $331 million from domestic ticket sales.
2. Paranormal Activity
This flip-flop franchise has had its share of ups and downs. The first movie was a hit ($107 million), the second movie took a dive ($84 million), and the third rose back up ($104 million). "Paranormal Activity 4" followed the lead of "Scream 4" and made much less ($53.9 million). The declines continued for chapter five. Altogether the series still made more than $380 million.
Have you seen a "Saw" movie? Statistics indicate that you probably have. The films have collectively earned $413 million at the box office. What's interesting is that "Saw" achieved this number without a single movie earning $100 million. The sheer number of sequels allowed the franchise to keep raking in the money, however.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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