Editor’s Note: If you categorize Jurassic World as horror, it easily overtakes the top slot on this list with a staggering tally of 1,670,400,637.
If you’ve got a few friends who get a kick out of hanging around chatting movies and hurling movie trivia in every direction, you’ve probably been asked this question: What horror movie made the most money, ever? Well that number has changed from time to time through the years, but this is – to the best of my knowledge according to my research – an accurate gathering of figures… I hope. If you catch something I missed (I also excluded Mad Max: Fury Road for the same reason I excluded Jurassic World – it only flirts with the genre, as opposed to diving in and embracing it), feel free to correct me so I can get this list updated!
For now, enjoy a look at the 20 highest grossing horror films in history!
#20 Jaws 2 (1978)
The small island resort town of Amity is trying to bounce back from the financial troubles that suffered after becoming known as the site of shark attacks four years earlier. Mayor Larry Vaughn is welcoming developer Len Peterson and his new resort to Amity. Two scuba divers are exploring the area where the Orca sank after police chief Martin Brody killed a huge shark four years ago. A shark shows up and devoured the two divers, but not before one of the divers takes a close-up picture of the shark’s eye, and sometime later, while a mother is driving a boat that’s pulling her water-skiing teenage daughter, the shark devours the daughter and causes the mother to accidentally blow up the boat, then a killer whale is found on the shore with a huge bites on it. After Brody sees this, he knows there’s another huge great white shark in Amity’s waters, but Vaughn and Peterson explain these attacks away as non-shark accidents, because the thought of another shark in Amity’s waters would drive…
Worldwide Total: $187,884,007
#19 Paranormal Activity (2009)
After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban ‘starter’ tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.
Worldwide Total: $193,355,800
#18 Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
In 1988, in California, cinematographer Dennis moves to the house of his girlfriend Julie to raise a family with her daughters Katie and Kristi. Little Kristi has an imaginary friend named Toby while weird things happen in the house. Dennis decides to place cameras in the house to capture images during the night and soon he finds that there is an entity in the house. Dennis’s friend Randy Rosen (Dustin Ingram) researches the events and learns that his house might be a coven of witches and the children may be in danger.
Worldwide Total: $207,039,844
#17 Interview with the Vampire (1994)
It hasn’t even been a year since a plantation owner named Louis lost his wife in childbirth. Both his wife and the infant died, and now he has lost his will to live. A vampire named Lestat takes a liking to Louis and offers him the chance to become a creature of the night: a vampire. Louis accepts, and Lestat drains Louis’ mortal blood and then replaces it with his own, turning Louis into a vampire. Louis must learn from Lestat the ways of the vampire.
Worldwide Total: $223,664,608
#16 The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Three film students travel to Maryland to make a student film about a local urban legend… The Blair Witch. The three went into the woods on a two day hike to find the Blair Witch, and never came back. One year later, the students film and video were found in the woods. The footage was compiled and made into a movie. The Blair Witch Project.
Worldwide Total: $248,639,099