With Halloween fast approaching, it is the perfect occasion to watch horror films. Down the years, we have been blessed with numerous classics, with several memorable franchises being developed. 2017 has been a standout year for horror films, meaning the genre is in a healthy state. We’ve compiled this list based on gross income for each film in a franchise, albeit adjusted for inflation. This should give a fair representation of the full story. Our top ten between them have produced a slew of classics. So enjoy – the top ten horror franchises of all time!
10th – Paranormal Activity ($450m)
Kicking off our list is the often-maligned Paranormal Activity. There have been five entries in this franchise. The first film is commonly seen as the high point – as will be a theme throughout this list. With ultra-low production costs and high returns – this was always going to gross well! Unfortunately, the most recent films have been met with negative reviews.
9th – The Conjuring ($450m)
A franchise that was a victim of our switch to an inflation-based model, The Conjuring has impressed since first hitting our screens in 2013. Since, there have been three other films in a short space of time. Focusing on a possessed doll, the franchise has proved a hit with viewers. More films are in the works.
8th – Saw ($540m)
Saw is arguably the most well-known horror franchise – with the horrifying Jigsaw having tormented victims in no fewer than seven films. Many suggest the franchise has improved over time – which is a rarity. The first three films are especially acclaimed. An eighth entry – titled ‘Jigsaw’ is due for release imminently.
7th – Scream ($580m)
Back in 1996, Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’ impressed many, and is among the most well-known horror films. Three other films joined the original to make the franchise. Such was the success of the franchise, an adaptation for television has been created – MTV’s Scream is now in its third season and going strong.
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6th – Halloween ($665m)
Ten films in total comprise the ‘Halloween’ franchise, which focuses on killer Michael Myers. The first Halloween filmalone grossed almost $200m in the box office – not adjusted for inflation. A reboot in 2007 kick-started the franchise again, with another film currently in the works. In an added bonus, the latest film will be directed by John Carpenter, who directed the critically-acclaimed first film.
5th – Nightmare on Elm Street ($700m)
Wes Craven impressed with Scream, but his best entry on this list was the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ franchise, which consisted of nine films. The franchise followed Freddy Krueger – who would stalk teenagers during their dreams, to try and avenge his death by their parents. These films are often seen as the quintessential horror film.
4th – Friday the 13th ($820m)
A mammoth 12 films have been produced in this franchise. The first film – ‘Friday the 13th’ – released in 1980, was a classic. The franchise focused on Jason Vorhees, and Camp Crystal Lake. The sequels to the original have ventured into many different areas. Unfortunately for fans of this franchise – a thirteenth film was recently cancelled by Paramount Pictures.
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3rd – Alien ($1bn)
On the bottom step of the podium is ‘Alien’. Eight films have been produced, starting with the self-titled ‘Alien’ in 1979. The first film was met with critical acclaim. Some of the sequels too have succeeded, though others have been seen as a disappointment. Overall though, when the maths is complete, Alien ranks highly on our list. More films are planned.
2nd – The Excorcist ($1.2bn)
With five films, this classic franchise has grossed over $1bn when adjusted for inflation. The first film in the series is often regarded as among the finest horror films ever seen. While the following entries didn’t receive the same acclaim, the franchise has still impressed. In the US, a TV series related to the franchise is airing.
1st – Jaws ($1.6bn)
While certainly helped by inflation – Jaws tops our list as the highest grossing horror franchise of all time. The original ‘Jaws’ film, released in 1975, is still to this day regarded as one of the best films of all time. The franchise helped director Steven Spielberg become world-renowned. The sequel impressed, though the third and fourth films were questionable. However, all things considered, this classic franchise is well worthy of its position here.
So there is our list – with Jaws securing the coveted top spot. These ten franchises have all produced classic films, and with more the follow in the forthcoming years, we can expect this order to change around soon! Remember to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for more. Thanks for reading!