Top 2012 Horror Movie Box Office Winners

Herner Klenthur

Box office numbers and the quality of a movie never go hand in hand. That said some of the worst movies of 2012 still managed to pull a really large audience proving that what we think will hit and miss means absolutely nothing.

The fact that my favorite films of the year are not even on this list shows that true horror continues to live in the direct to dvd and video on demand markets. The Loved Ones, Aggression Scale, The Divide all three were awesome movies and none of them appear anywhere on the box office winners of 2012.

Below are the box office winners of 2012 using world-wide box office revenues. Make note that the reason The Hunger Games and Twilight which both made the most money are not listed is because… read for this? They are NOT F’ING Horror movies! :) Now for the list of the top 20 2012 Horror Movies at the Box office from the most profitable to the least.

Prometheus – $126 million

Prometheus was the long-awaited prequel story to ALIEN. The filmmakers denied any connection but it is the same universe with the same characters so calling a turnip an apple doesn’t make it so. A reasonable sci-fi horror movie but nothing compared to ALIEN as far as pure terror and entertainment.

Dark Shadows – $80million

Dark Shadows was about as scary as a kitten licking my palm but it did have its moments. Johnny Depp is really the only good thing I can say about this one unfortunately.

Chronicle $65 million

Chronicle made a few of our teams top horror films list and although I a still not sure whether I loved it or liked it I am glad to see a creative concept perform well at the box office

Underworld Awakening – $63million

By far the worst in the franchise this series has for me always been a little to focused on how hot Kate Beckinsale looks in leather. I have seen them all and will likely see the next one. Its box office results have little to do with horror fans and more for its mainstream sci-fi appeal.

The Woman in Black $55million

I passed on this one since its not a remake for me but sometime this year I will see it. I know a few of our team also had high praise for this film and the performance that Daniel Radcliffe turned in. Nice to see him moving past his Harry Potter years.

Paranormal Activity 4 – $54million

Paranormal Activity is a power house money-making machine for Paramount. Love it or hate it there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. I have not seen it and likely never will so you can guess which camp I am in.

The Devil inside $53million

The Devil Inside was a fun supernatural religious thriller. I am not surprised to see it do so well since it was the only religious thriller and those always tend to draw a few dollars. Not top 10 horror of 2012 but still I felt it was a fun movie with a few creepy moments ( the baptism scene anyone ).

The Grey – $52million

Liam Neeson is fantastic in The Grey but I will admit every time I see him all I can remember is the following quote;  I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. The wolves did not stand a chance! Great flick.

The Possession – $50million

So much for my earlier comments about not much competition from supernatural religious thrillers. I guess I can follow-up that comment with I did not see The Possession.

Sinister $48million

Sinister is an interesting movie. We have staff members and readers calling it the best horror movie of 2012. We also have staff members and readers calling it the worst. Very polarizing movie. Which camp are you in?

Resident Evil Retribution $42million

The worst movie in the franchise by far. Introducing video game characters with no explanation, card board acting and horrible action sequences. I loved the first film but this has really fallen down over the franchise.

Cabin in the Woods $42million

Joss Whedon is a genius and I thought Cabin  in the Woods was an absolute blast. Was it as good as the critics made it out to be? No it wasn’t. It was way over hyped but it was still a great horror movie that made fun of us die-hard horror genre fans while also paying homage to it. I really enjoyed it.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter $38 million

The premise is so stupid its fantastic. Abraham Lincoln fighting vampires with his legendary Axe. The mixing of truth and fiction made this ridiculous movie fun.

Frankenweenie $35million

Horror movies are not safe fare for the kids so it’s always nice to have an animated movie pop up that we can take the youngsters to. We will always support animated movies that pay homage to the greatest genre of them all.

House at the End of the Street – $32 million

I was quite surprised that Jennifer Lawrence was not enough to make this movie a bigger hit then it was but considering its budget and plot it did solid box office numbers. This does show that Hunger Games fans are fans of Hunger Games and not Jennifer’s which is a shame since she is a great female role model in an over glamorized Hollywood world.

Chernobly Diaries $18million

Chernobyl Diaries was a great concept but for me it missed in just about every way.

Silent Hill Revelation – $18million

I never played the games and the first movie wasnt my cup of tea so I passed on the second film. It was shot in 3d and not converted after the fact so I am curious how the 3D looked as a recently converted 3D hater.

The Raven – $16 million

I never understood the concept of this movie from the first day and clearly I am not the only one who did not go to see it. Edgar Allan Poe crime fighter? Even John Cusack who I am a huge fan of couldn’t get me to buy a ticket.

The Raven - Pendulum Murder

Dredd $13million

DREDD will forever have the distinction of being the movie that changed my opinion of 3D after many years of me pointing out that its a gimmick for lazy filmmakers and weak film ideas. I will still stand behind that but I will no longer outright dismiss 3D movies now. Admittedly b-movie sci-fi more than horror but so epicly gory its a must see for us genre fans!

Silent House $13million

Rave reviews for Silent House but very little promotion or fan fare so it reflected in the box office. Elizabeth Olsen is incredibly talented and is a name to watch for as she does more films!

What movies on this list did you enjoy? Which do you wish did better at the box office? Sound off in the comments. All numbers come courtesy of the fantastic site BoxOfficeMojo


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      1. Rodd Buddha January 2, 2013 at 6:37 am

        Prometheus is not a horror movie. Its more of a action/sci-fi adventure. Its more like Chronicle, which is not a horror movie either. Why is The Grey on there too? Thats in the same category. I think these films are incorrectly classified.

        • Herner Klenthur January 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm

          You make a solid point on Chronicle but as a genre site we cover it. Prometheus is a prequel to ALIEN so its sci-fi horror in my books. The Grey is horror because it focuses on a group of men surviving nature and being mauled to death by wolves in the process. Great comments appreciate them and I respect your point of view.

      2. Ron Nocella January 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm

        I agree that Twilight and The Hunger Games shouldnt be listed as they are not horror but, if thats the reason they werent listed (but are still covered on the site) then a couple other films on this list shouldnt have made it. Either way, Ill definitely be checking out the films I have yet to see from the list based on your comments. Good list all the same.

        • Herner Klenthur January 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm

          Ron I speak only for myself and not the authors who write for this site. You can make the argument an apocalpytic movie about murderous children is horror. You can make the same argument vampires fall into horror lore. I am just not including them in my blog post.

      3. S.P. September 14, 2013 at 2:22 am

        You didn’t want to put The Hunger Games and Twilight because they’re not horror movies, but you put Prometheus and Dredd? Do you even know what a horror movie is?