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The 20 Highest Grossing Scary Movies Of All Time

blair witch

Ghosts, haunted homes, murders, blood, and screaming all tend to be common themes in scary movies. But which films have used these elements the most successfully?In honour of Halloween, we thought it would be appropriate to round up the highest-grossing horror films of all time.

The major scary movie franchises, such as “Scream,” “Saw,” and “Paranormal Activity,” are all on the list, but which movies in the series were the most popular?

*The following 20 movies are ranked in ascending order according to U.S. gross totals.*


20. Saw II (2005): $87 million

'Saw II' is the most successful film from the 'Saw' franchise, which includes seven movies. It starred Donnie Wahlberg and Beverly Mitchell, with Tobin Bell playing the villain, Jigsaw.

19. Scream 3 (2000): $89.1 million

'Scream 3' is part of the four film 'Scream' franchise. The movie stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox. Arquette and Cox were married less than a year before the movie's release.

18. The Haunting (1999): $91.4 million

This late '90s film is a remake of the 1963 film. It starred Liam Neeson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Owen Wilson.

17. The Others (2001): $96.5 million

'The Others' starred Nicole Kidman and was released the same year she and Tom Cruise divorced.

16. Sleepy Hollow (1999): $101.1 million

'Sleepy Hollow,' directed by Tim Burton, starred Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. It is the sixth highest-grossing Burton film out of the 16 he has directed.

15. Scream 2 (1997): $101.4 million

'Scream 2' was released a year after the original 'Scream' and was directed by Wes Craven, who directed all four films in the franchise.

14. Scream (1996): $103 million

'Scream' won the MTV Movie Award for best movie and reportedly used about 50 gallons of blood during production.

13. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011): $104 million

'Paranormal Activity 3' is the highest grossing of the four film franchise, so far (the fourth film was released late last week). Many of the scenes shown in the trailer were not featured in the actual movie, angering many fans.

12. Interview with the Vampire (1994): $105.3 million

This horror film starred Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Kirsten Dunst. It was also nominated for two Oscars in the best art direction-set decoration and best music/original score categories.

11. Paranormal Activity (2007): $107.9 million

The first film in the 'Paranormal Activity' franchise grossed $9.1 million in the U.S. during its first week in theatres. It broke the record for the highest-grossing weekend for a film playing in less than 200 theatres.

10. The Grudge (2004): $110.4 million

The first in the three film franchise was inspired by a Japanese film and had the same director as the Japanese original.

9. The Village (2004): $114.2 million

This film starred Sigourney Weaver and Joaquin Phoenix. It was nominated for an Oscar in the music category.

8. Van Helsing (2004): $120.2 million

'Van Helsing' starred Kate Beckinsale and Hugh Grant. The movie earned $65 million during its first week out on DVD, representing more than half of its theatre revenue.

7. Shutter Island (2010): $128 million

This Martin Scorsese directed horror film starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo. It is Scorsese's second highest-grossing film, behind 'The Departed.'

6. The Ring (2002): $129.1 million

'The Ring' is a remake of a 1998 Japanese film. More than two million copies of the DVD were sold in the U.S. during its first day of release.

5. The Blair Witch Project (1999): $140.5 million

All lines in this horror film were improvised and almost all events were on-camera surprises. It is one of the most successful independent movies of all time.

4. What Lies Beneath (2000): $155.5 million

'What Lies Beneath' stars Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis while his other film 'Cast Away' was on break waiting for Tom Hanks to lose weight for his character.

3. The Exorcist (1973): $232.9 million

'The Exorcist' is based on a 1971 novel about a real life exorcism from 1949. Maxim and Entertainment Weekly have voted this film the scariest movie of all time.

2. Jaws (1975): $260 million

This Steven Spielberg directed film won three Oscars (best film editing, best music, and best sound). Spielberg named the shark from the film 'Bruce' after his lawyer.

1. The Sixth Sense (1999): $293.5 million

The highest-grossing horror movie of all time stars Bruce Willis and 11-year-old Haley Joel Osment. It was nominated for a staggering six Oscars, including best director and best picture.

Now see which actors had scary TV and film debuts ...

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