Horror is a film genre that is cheap to produce and offers the best bang for the buck. While there is no horror movie with over $1 billion in the box office, some movies have seen over 10 times gross of the initial budget. It costs about $60,000 to make The Blair Witch Project but it grossed $248 million worldwide that is over 4100 times the initial budget. The budget of the movie goes up significantly when you add CGI and prominent cast members to the mix. Compare this to a mainstream movie like the Avengers: Endgame which had a budget of $500 million with marketing could be about $1 billion but it grossed $2.5 billion. Therefore it only made 5 times the budget.
Here is a list of highest grossing horror movies.
1) IT (2017) – $700 million ($35 million budget)
A movie based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. IT follows Pennywise the Dancing Clown as terrorizes the small town of Derry.
2) The Sixth Sense (1999) – $672 million ($40 million budget)
The film follows a boy who is able to see and talk to the dead and a child psychologist who tries to help him. When adjusted to inflation, this ranks number 1 on the highest grossing horror movie list.
3) I Am Legend (2007) – $585 million ($150 million budget)
The story is set in New York City after a virus, which was originally created to cure cancer, has wiped out most of mankind, leaving Neville as the last human in New York. Heis immune to the virus and he works to develop a cure while defending himself against the mutants.
4) World War Z (2013) – $540 million ($269 million budget)
The movie with the biggest budget on the list. It is based on the novel of the same name. A former United Nations investigator who must travel the world to find a way to stop a zombie pandemic.
5) Jaws (1975) – $470 million ($9 million budget)
The movie by Steven Spielberg is a pop culture classic. It based on the 1974 novel of the same name. A giant man-eating shark terrorizes a resort. The local police force tries to hunt with the help of marine biologist.
6) The Exorcist (1973) – $441 million ($12 million budget)
It is based on the novel of the same name. It follows the demonic possession of a 12-year-old girl, and her mother’s attempts to win her back through an exorcism conducted by two priests.
7) Signs (2002) – $408 million ($72 million budget)
Signs is a science fiction horror film where a farmer started to discover crop circles in his field. When he investigates it further, he discovers that we are not alone in the universe.
8) The Nun (2018) – $365 million ($22 million budget)
The Nun is a prequel to the Conjuring series. When World War 2 bomb shatters the seal that held the gate of hell at bay, a demon named Valak was released to the world. The Nun at Saint Cartha monastery attempts to contain the demon while help arrives from Roman Catholic church.
9) Hannibal (2001) – $350 million ($87 million budget)
The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal follows Starling’s attempts to apprehend Lecter before his surviving victim, Mason Verger, captures him.
10) A Quiet Place (2018) – $340 million ($17 million budget)
This is a post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film. The plot revolves around a family struggling to survive inhabited by blind extraterrestrial creatures with an acute sense of hearing. To stay alive, you have to be really quiet.