15 Highest Grossing Horror Movies of All Time

There’s no denying the fact that action and sci-fi movies rule the roster when it comes to box-office collections. Their inundating popularity and appeal to the masses are unmatched. But, there’s one which has shown potential to match them: the horror genre. The evolution of this genre is realistically the changing of the society we live in. Getting scared, or seeing people get scared has become a cathartic part of our daily lives. We decided to remember some of these pieces of art and set your weekend right. Here is the list of 15 highest grossing horror movies ever. Happy reading!


1. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Collection: $672.8 million

‘The Sixth Sense’ was more than just a horror movie. It was a reinforcement of the thriller genre and the superseding jewel in M Night Shaymalan’s newly acquired crown of twists. Probably the greatest twist of cinematic history, the film told the story of a struggling kid, who is having nightmares which don’t let him sleep. A widower doctor comes to the rescue, as he gradually discovers a bigger and scarier cause of his sleepless nights. Deftly crafted and breathtakingly performed, the film is Shyamalan at his vintage best and Willis at his most vulnerable.

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2. The Exorcist (1973)

Collection: $441.3 million

Two intersecting stories of troubled families, dealing with things beyond humanity, ‘The Exorcist’, in my impoverished opinion, is the greatest horror film ever made. As cinephiles, using superlatives is almost sacrilegious. But I bet when the Almighty sees this one, he’ll concur. A successful actress notices changes in her 12-year old daughter’s behavior, something which is reflected by a young priest’s sick mother. People vomited, ran out of the theater, and some even died while seeing the film. Need I say more?

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3. It (2017)

Collection: $404.3 million

I still remember my reaction when It dismembered Georgie’s hand in the initial phase of the film. Horrified and shocked, the rest of the film was a terrifying experience. Perhaps that’s a heads up for the production team. A shape-shifting demon wakes up after its hibernating state, targeting people to feed himself. The disappearances involved Georgie, Bill’s younger brother, who devises theories as to his brother’s loss. Together with his friends, Bill becomes a victim of nightmarish hallucinations and vivid incidents, being terrified by It. They finally overcome their fears and track his ‘well’ to finish him once and for all. ‘It’ will leave you stunned and begging for more. A brilliant effort.

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4. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Collection: $320.3 million

Valak is one of those ghosts of the cinematic world which can even scare the shit out of other ghosts. Re-enacting the Enfield poltergeist incident, ‘The Conjuring 2’ brings back the dynamic duo of Ed and Lorraine Warren, warding off evil spirits with their love. Not exactly, though. A single mother calls for their help after experiencing paranormal incidents in her house. Lorraine’s own haunting visions fuel her desire to find their true meanings. James Wan does a fine effort in creating a charming movie but fails to re-create the magic of its acclaimed successor.

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5. The Conjuring (2013)

Collection: $318 million

Dare I say more?

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6. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Collection: $300.22 million

The character of Alice is perhaps the most iconic in horror history. Another part of the ‘Resident Evil’ franchise, this one envisages Alice leading a covey of survivors to a safe house, Arcadia, only to learn the doomed place is itself being used as a bait to attract more un-dead and corrupt them with the T-virus. Full of well-established action scenes and gory zombie make-up, the film is a treat for the fans of the franchise. It, unfortunately, offers nothing in terms of a coherent story of originality. Goes “dead” on that part.

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7. Ghostbusters (1984)

Collection: $295.2 million

If you see something strange in your neighborhood, call the Ghostbusters.” The film became an 80’s sensation when it first came out. Its legacy remains intact even today, peacefully sitting atop the pinnacle of cult horror flicks. Four paranormal enthusiasts come to the realization that their fantasies are actually true. They discover an unidentified person as the conjurer of demonic spirits in the city of New York to bring about an apocalypse. Their mission: to stop them and save their beloved city. Nothing gets more nostalgic than this!

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8. Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Collection: $292.5 million

Seeing this godforsaken doll gives me the chills. The film serves as an origin story of the doll, tracing it back to the house of a bereaved couple, who lost their precious little girl to an accident years before they invite a group of homeless orphans to their house, who are accompanied by a nun. Targeting a physically challenged member of the group, the spirit is successfully in subjugating her to a helpless host. The battle to get their friend back urges the small group to fight the demon, with just the Sister and her best friend remaining alive. Probably the scariest of the ‘Conjuring’ series movies, ‘Annabelle: Creation’ hits all the right notes and serves as a time-worthy horror film.

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9. Annabelle (2014)

Collection: $256.8 million

Just by looking at the list you would get an idea of how rich James Wan. Dropping those innate materialistic instincts, you’ll also discover how talented a director and producer he is. His productive vision saw the series became the most successful horror franchise ever. ‘Annabelle’ starts where the film above this one left off, wherein Annabelle, the Higgins’ demonic daughter murders her parents and invades a young pregnant couple, who recently bought a porcelain doll, and passes on the spirit to it. Strange activities prompt the two leaving the house, not knowing the real evil lies in the doll itself. Horrific incidents transpire as they depend on a priest to solve the issue.

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10. The Village (2004)

Collection: $256.6 million

M Night Shyamalan’s set-ways define a particularly well-made movie. An isolated town lives in fear of an unknown monster from the surrounding woods. But when one from the community is badly injured, a blind girl sets out into the woods to find help from beyond. Featuring a scintillating cast, ‘The Village’ is partially successful in becoming the complete horror movie, with certain elements of story-development missing. Despite that, the film’s commercial success is down to Shyamalan’s popularity and the refined performances.

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11. Get Out (2017)

Collection: $252.4 million

This is probably the fourth time I’m writing about this terrific horror/thriller in the space of 4 days. Rose takes Chris, her black boyfriend, to her parents’ to spend the weekend. Strange events conspire to make Chris suspicious of the family and the house. When he wants to leave, the family is successful in subverting him to a restive state, planning on operating his brain out and vegetating him. He, though, has other plans. Just see this brilliant social commentary on racism and its banal acceptance in our daily lives.

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12. The Ring (2002)

Collection: $249.5 million

Employing the cliched image and apparel of a ghost, ‘The Ring’ emphatically delivers with an emotive story of helplessness. Rachel suffers personal grief when her niece is killed under mysterious circumstances. The reason turns out to be a videotape, which consumes the lives of its viewers. Further interrogation into the matter puts her family’s life at risk. The moment Samantha came out of the television set, it was apparent that this will remain a classic. And it does.

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13. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Collection: $248.6 million

A group of three students forays into uncharted territory when they go off investigating a disturbing folklore. Irreligious cult activities claim their lives as the video footage from their cameras is proof of the evil that exists in that forest. ‘The Blair Witch Project’ is not a quintessential horror movie. It features heavy elements of psychological thrillers. The tensed build-ups to jaw-dropping crescendos are frequent and each time uniquely rendered. The performances are worth watching for. Also, it is the film with the biggest profit margin against the budget.

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14. Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)

Collection: $240 million

The second entry into the list points towards the popularity this franchise enjoys. Alice initiates another deadly mission to find the perpetrators who created and administered the T-virus into the public space. The journey becomes tougher when she assumes the responsibility of her comrades and surviving partners. Its more of the same as the other films of the series; jump-scares and near escapes for the heroic group, with time and again one member dying. The story doesn’t have a lot to provide though, which is a big let down.

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15. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

Collection: $207.7 million

The Paranormal series made this found footage type movies popular. The perfected formula of scaring the bejesus of the people was finally perfected in their installment of the franchise, which was by far the best one of the lot. Siblings Katie and Kristi lived with their mother Julie and her boyfriend. Paranormal situations occupy and take over their house when the two girls befriend an invisible entity, Toby. Excruciatingly innovative and restrictive in its approach, the film wins on many levels. The acting is natural and reluctant. The camera-work is perfectly matched with a script that steers away from stereotyped jump-scares and rather focuses on a more comprehensive rendering of an experience.

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