Horror movies it is the genre we love and the genre we love to hate. We all love original horror films and a lot of us love to bag on studios and their horror remakes, gimmicks and 3D trickery. All of this has led to my latest editorial which with the help of The Numbers looks at the most profitable horror films of all time.
So let’s get right to the meat and potatoes of things and then we can wrap it up with a message from your sponsor… me.
#9 - The Evil Dead – Made for $375,000 / Made $29million: Evil Dead has gone down as one of the greatest horror films ever made and to this day has maintained Bruce Campbells super star status amongst horror fans.
#8 – SAW – Made for $1million / Made $100million: This film helped launch not just one directors career but also went on to spawn a billion dollar franchise for the studio.
#7 – Friday the 13th – Made for $500,000 / Made $60million: Friday the 13th is a horror staple that to this day is one of the best horror films ever made.
#6 –Open Water – Made for $500k / Made $50million: Open Water with its combination of a unique script and a great cast proved that budget means very little when it comes to box office profits and overall film quality.
#5 – Halloween 1978 – Made for $325,000 / Made $70million: Just like many of the other films on this list Halloween continues to scare horror fans. It has spawned a series of sequels and a dubious remake none of which have been as profitable as the original master piece.
#4 – Night of the Living Dead ’68 – Made for $114,000 / Made $110million: Two words sum up the success of Night of the Living Dead: George Romero. I used a photo from Tom Savini’s 1990 remake of the film because its a great film I had to sneak into this list and is also one of the few horror remakes as good as the original.
#3 – The Blair Witch – Made for $600,00 / Made $250million: Blair Witch is one of the few movies that left me sleepless and spawned a new trend in horror films, the found footage film.
#2 – Mad Max – Made for $200k / Made $100million: At one time Mel Gibson was not known for being on TMZ on a regular and his film Mad Max is not only one of the greatest end of days movies ever made its also the second most profitable
#1 – Paranormal Activity – Made for $15,000 / Made $195 million. : Honestly dont think we need to say anything about this one. Paranormal Activity is the most profitable movie ever made regardless of genre and has already spawned two sequels with Paranormal Activity 3 hitting theaters this October.
Now with any good editorial we need to have some super important message. Some deep thought that will resonate with you. What message am I trying to in still with this editorial? It is simple. Show me which of the movies on this Top 10 Most Profitable horror films is a remake. Show me which of these movies was converted to or shot in 3D. Show me which of these films started out as a major blockbuster studio project.
The top 10 most profitable horror films come from all sub-genres within the hallowed libraries of horror filmmaking. From the classics like Halloween to new modern masterpieces like SAW and Paranormal Activity horror movies have made studios literally boat loads of money. This clearly shows that when studios take gambles on great films which focus on originality and not on catering to the lowest MPAA rating or the latest camera technology can and will make money.
Now ask yourself why Trick R Treat was dumped onto DVD without so much as a theatrical whimper when it is in fact one of the greatest horror anthologies ever made. Why was Toby Wilkins SPLINTER relegated to the DVD shelf when it is one of the best modern monster movies ever made? Why are great talents like Alex Ferrari still struggling to get a feature film made?
What will it take for studios and horror fans to get together to better the genre as a whole? The studios want to make money and we as horror fans want to see great horror movies not cliché horror gimmicks. How do we make that happen? How do we make sure that talented directors like Adam Green ( Hatchet / Spiral ), Toby Wilkins ( Splinter ) , Michael Dougherty ( Trick R Treat ) get the funding and support they need to keep making damn fine horror movies?