The highest-grossing Halloween-season horror hits ... don't scare their way up the all-time list

Michael Ordona, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

With several (supposedly) scary movies atop the box-office charts right now or about to be released, it seems like that time of year, when all the big horror hits come out, right? Looking at the top-grossers of the genre ... not so much.

As September turned to October, “Saw X” slashed its way to an $18 million opening (about average for the franchise), and “The Nun II” has already risen into the Top 25 all-time highest horror grossers, with more than $230 million worldwide. This month sees the usual gushing of blood-spilling titles, with at least six releases, including “Exorcist: Believer” and “Five Nights at Freddy’s” — the latter tracking, according to some estimates, for a very nice $33-million to $44-million bow. But while the month is closely associated with horror movies (it contains Halloween, after all), it actually hasn’t seen that many all-time hits come out.

On the Numbers’ list of top-grossing horror films, one must go all the way down to No. 17 to find an October release (“Annabelle,” with about $257 million). Only seven October releases make it into the top 50, including: the 2018 “Halloween” reboot/sequel; “The Ring”; “Paranormal Activity 3”; “The Grudge”; “Paranormal Activity 2”; and “Saw III.” In fact, the franchise most closely associated with the month — “Halloween” — is only the 11th-highest-grossing horror franchise (“The Conjuring” universe being first, by a lot, with more than $2.3 billion).


The top-grossing October horror releases (Not adjusted for inflation; all data from the Numbers.com)

1. “Annabelle” (2014, $256.9 million worldwide, No. 17-highest grossing horror movie overall)


2. “Halloween” (2018, $255.4 million, No. 18)

3. “The Ring” (2002, $248.2 million, No. 21)

4. “Paranormal Activity 3” (2011, $207 million, No. 32)

5. “The Grudge” (2004, $187.3 million, No. 37)


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