The history of the U.S. box office can be a tricky situation for horror buffs to delve into in full, as it's very hard to find comprehensive data for many years prior to the early 1980s.

This article has all of the horror films rated from #2 to #10 for the weekend box office from c. 1982 to the present-day, while older films are mostly taken from Variety's top 50 weekly grossing films charts, that ran from 1969 up to 1990, and is hereby the main source prior to the weekend box office starting up in 1982.


After 1982, studios widely report on the weekend grosses, which has been a tradition by the IMDb owned Box Office Mojo ever since, and makes up the bulk of a film's earnings, making it have a broader appeal. Prior to 1969, Variety had other ways of ranking box office earnings since 1922, but it wasn't really compiled as a chart, as such, until 1969. More so, it was really just an indicator of the top films via key cities, and their estimated grosses.

Note that #1 movies are NOT included on this page, but they can be viewed on the page for that information, here...

See also: https://horror.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_box_office_number-one_horror_films_in_the_United_States

1920s[edit | edit source]

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (inaugural)
  • One Exciting Night
  • The Cat and the Canary
  • The Headless Horseman
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The Unknown
  • The Magician
  • Dante's Inferno
  • The Penalty
  • Faust

Note: The beginning of the U.S. box office can be traced back to 1922. Variety started tracking film grosses from certain theatres and cities, starting on 22 February of that year. While Variety never composed these grosses as a chart until much later on, a chart format is used in Leonidas Fragias' chart books, that are sold on Amazon.

"The Ghost Breaker", "The Gorilla", "The Wizard", and "A Blind Bargain" are all lost films.

1930s[edit | edit source]

  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Son of Frankenstein
  • Werewolf of London
  • White Zombie
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Mad Love
  • Island of Lost Souls
  • Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • The Mad Genius
  • The Gorilla
  • The Bat Whispers
  • The Raven
  • The Mask of Fu Manchu
  • Mystery of the Wax Museum
  • Doctor X
  • The Devil Doll
  • Murders in the Zoo
  • Dracula
  • The Invisible Man
  • The Mummy
  • The Cat Creeps
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Freaks
  • Svengali

1940s[edit | edit source]

  • The Ghost of Frankenstein
  • Dr. Cyclops
  • The Uninvited
  • The Ghost Breakers
  • The Lodger
  • You'll Find Out
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

1950s[edit | edit source]

  • Tarantula
  • Them!
  • Rodan! The Flying Monster
  • Escapement
  • The Fly / Space Master X-7
  • The Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • The Curse of Frankenstein / X the Unknown
  • Attack of the Crab Monsters / Not of this Earth
  • Revenge of the Creature / Cult of the Cobra
  • It Came from Beneath the Sea / Creature with the Atom Brain
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Horror of Dracula / The Thing That Couldn't Die
  • House on Haunted Hill
  • The Incredible Shrinking Man
  • The Strange Door
  • The Black Scorpion
  • The Maze
  • The Mad Magician
  • The Bad Seed
  • This Island Earth
  • Macabre
  • Phantom of the Rue Morgue
  • Curucu, Beast of the Amazon / The Mole People
  • The Thing from Another World
  • Earth vs. The Flying Saucers / The Werewolf
  • Scared Stiff
  • Cat Girl

1960s[edit | edit source]

  • Psycho
  • Circus of Horrors
  • The Brides of Dracula / The Leech Woman
  • The Phantom of the Opera / Night Creatures
  • The Innocents
  • Scream of Fear
  • Lady in a Cage
  • Strait-Jacket
  • Gorgo
  • Homicidal
  • The Mask
  • The Haunting
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
  • Fall of the House of Usher

Note: Beginning from April of 1969, these films are taken from Variety's top 50 grossing films charts.

  • Eye of the Cat
  • Nightmare in Wax / Blood of Dracula's Castle (re-issue)
  • Spirits of the Dead
  • The Green Slime
  • The Oblong Box
  • Paranoia
  • The Creature with the Blue Hand (re-issued in the 1970s, with The Beast of the Yellow Night)
  • The House That Screamed
  • The War of the Gargantuas
  • Curse of the Vampires (re-issued in the 1970s, with Beast of Blood)

1970s[edit | edit source]

  • Sssssss / The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
  • Frogs
  • Don't Look in the Basement / The Last House on the Left
  • Reflection of Fear / The Creeping Flesh
  • Beast of Blood
  • Beast of the Yellow Night
  • Countess Dracula / Vampire Circus
  • Dracula A.D. 1972 / Crescendo
  • The Brotherhood of Satan / Fragment of Fear
  • The Terminal Man
  • The Devil's Rain
  • Coma
  • Prophecy
  • Let's Scare Jessica to Death
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • The House by the Lake
  • The House of Exorcism
  • The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
  • Scum of the Earth
  • The Legend of Boggy Creek
  • Cry of the Banshee
  • Night of Dark Shadows
  • Bug
  • Flesh for Frankenstein
  • Black Magic
  • The Town That Dreaded Sundown
  • The House That Vanished
  • The Sentinel
  • The Other
  • The Legacy
  • The Possession of Joel Delaney
  • Night Watch
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic
  • Rabid
  • Piranha
  • Deep Red
  • Orca
  • Squirm
  • Zombie Flesh Eaters
  • Dogs
  • Grizzly
  • Snuff
  • The Food of the Gods
  • Abby
  • Ruby
  • Day of the Animals
  • Phantasm
  • Mansion of the Doomed
  • Tales That Witness Madness
  • Ben
  • The Medusa Touch
  • The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue
  • Theatre of Blood
  • Tower of Evil (re-issued in the 1980s)
  • Black Christmas
  • Halloween
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
  • Dawn of the Dead
  • Alice, Sweet Alice
  • Vampira
  • Race with the Devil
  • The Incredible Melting Man
  • The Monster
  • Demon Seed
  • Laserblast
  • The Cat O'Nine Tails
  • Embryo
  • The Mephisto Waltz
  • The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave
  • Goodbye Gemini
  • Scream and Scream Again
  • Shadow of the Hawk
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau
  • Torso
  • Audrey Rose
  • It Lives Again
  • Scream Blacula Scream
  • Suspiria
  • The Stepford Wives
  • The Asphyx
  • The Swarm
  • Count Yorga, Vampire
  • House of Dark Shadows
  • You'll Like My Mother
  • Nightwing
  • The Abdominable Dr. Phibes
  • The House That Dripped Blood
  • Asylum
  • Tales from the Crypt
  • From Beyond the Grave
  • The Vault of Horror
  • The Car
  • Mark of the Devil
  • Mark of the Devil II
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Patrick
  • Beyond the Door
  • Shock
  • Sisters
  • Don't Go in the House

1980s[edit | edit source]

The following are Variety magazine related weekly films, before the weekend box office began in 1982. Films released from 1983 onward in the weekly top 50 grossing films charts, are listed below.

  • Maniac
  • He Knows You're Alone
  • Terror Train
  • The Godsend
  • Don't Answer the Phone!
  • Schizoid
  • Fear No Evil
  • Final Exam
  • The Fan
  • The Hearse
  • The Children
  • The Funhouse
  • Without Warning
  • Ghost Story
  • Mother's Day
  • Deadly Blessing
  • Saturn 3
  • Hell Night
  • Night School
  • Galaxy of Terror
  • Demonoid: Messenger of Death
  • Blood Beach
  • Humanoids from the Deep
  • Death Ship
  • Nightmares in a Damaged Brain
  • Fade to Black
  • The Shining
  • The Boogey Man
  • The Changeling
  • Prom Night
  • Altered States
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Motel Hell
  • Eyes of a Stranger
  • Wolfen
  • The Hand
  • The Awakening

The weekend box office began in early 1982.

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge
  • Critters
  • Critters 2
  • The Hidden
  • Silent Rage
  • Silver Bullet
  • Manhunter
  • Bad Dreams
  • Angel Heart
  • Deadly Friend
  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch
  • Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
  • Maximum Overdrive
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie
  • Nightmares
  • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan
  • Visiting Hours
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Dead Heat
  • The Unholy
  • Christine
  • Class Reunion
  • Night of the Comet
  • Cat People
  • Phantasm II
  • Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
  • Cat's Eye
  • Creepshow 2
  • Poltergeist
  • Poltergeist II: The Other Side
  • Poltergeist III
  • The Gate
  • Trick or Treat
  • Firestarter
  • Children of the Corn
  • The Seventh Sign
  • Witchboard
  • Videodrome
  • Psycho II
  • Jaws: The Revenge
  • Gremlins
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night
  • The Thing
  • Fright Night
  • The Company of Wolves
  • The Lost Boys
  • Cujo
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
  • Troll
  • Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II
  • Shocker
  • House II: The Second Story
  • The Serpent and the Rainbow
  • April Fool's Day
  • The Dead Zone
  • Prince of Darkness
  • Invaders from Mars
  • Hellraiser
  • Hellbound: Hellraiser II
  • The Return of the Living Dead
  • Return of the Living Dead Part II
  • The Blob
  • My Demon Lover
  • Lifeforce
  • The Entity
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • The Hunger
  • Dead Calm
  • Transylvania 6-5000
  • The Incubus
  • The Sender
  • Deepstar Six
  • The Believers
  • Leviathan
  • Venom
  • Dreamscape
  • Psycho III
  • Lisa
  • The Curse
  • The Wraith
  • Terror in the Aisles

Weekly charted films here are taken from Box Office Mojo (and Variety) after 1982:

  • Strange Invaders
  • Demons
  • Day of the Dead
  • Zombie Creeping Flesh
  • Zombie Holocaust
  • Humongous
  • Forbidden World
  • Funeral Home
  • The Evil Dead
  • The Power
  • One Dark Night
  • Ghoulies
  • Night Train to Terror
  • Alone in the Dark
  • Curtains
  • The Slayer
  • The Boogens
  • Parasite
  • Q
  • Madman
  • From Beyond
  • Hellhole
  • Evilspeak
  • The Burning
  • City of the Living Dead
  • Saturday the 14th
  • Of Unknown Origin
  • Xtro
  • The Kiss
  • Bloodtide
  • The Beast Within
  • CHUD
  • Pieces
  • Maniac Cop
  • Impulse

1990s[edit | edit source]

  • Tremors
  • Frankenstein
  • Species
  • Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
  • Alien: Resurrection
  • Predator 2
  • Alien 3
  • Hideaway
  • I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
  • Urban Legend
  • Scream
  • Jason Goes t o Hell: The Final Friday
  • End of Days
  • Bride of Chucky
  • Child's Play 3
  • The Puppet Masters
  • Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
  • Candyman
  • Brainscan
  • In the Mouth of Madness
  • Village of the Damned
  • Dark Angel
  • Vampire in Brooklyn
  • Dracula: Dead and Loving It
  • Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh
  • Phantoms
  • Wishmaster
  • Warlock: The Armaggedon
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch
  • Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
  • Halloween H20
  • Hellraiser: Bloodline
  • The Devil's Advocate
  • The Faculty
  • Spawn
  • Psycho
  • The First Power
  • The Lawnmower Man
  • The Dark Half
  • Leprechaun
  • Species II
  • The Rage: Carrie 2
  • Stir of Echoes
  • Mimic
  • Lake Placid
  • Bats
  • Screamers
  • An American Werewolf in Paris
  • Children of the Corn II: The Sacrifice
  • Army of Darkness
  • Virus
  • Idle Hands
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • The Blair Witch Project
  • Tales from the Hood
  • Demon Knight
  • Lord of Illusions
  • Disturbing Behavior
  • Deep Rising
  • Beloved
  • Raising Cain
  • Split Second
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
  • Dr. Giggles
  • Body Bags
  • Ghost in the Machine
  • The Vanishing
  • Man's Best Friend
  • Bordello of Blood
  • The Frighteners
  • Thinner
  • Diabolique
  • Body Parts
  • Popcorn
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • The Guardian
  • Arachnophobia
  • Nightbreed

2000s[edit | edit source]

  • The Abandoned (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • The Gravedancers (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • Penny Dreadful (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • Dark Ride (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • The Hamiltons (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • Reincarnation (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • Wicked Little Things (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • Unrest (part of the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror (bonus film at the "8 Films to Die For" special event)
  • The Gift
  • Shadow of the Vampire
  • Supernova
  • Lost Souls
  • Pitch Black
  • Dracula 2001
  • Bless the Child
  • Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
  • Final Destination
  • The Forsaken
  • Bones
  • Ghosts of Mars
  • Valentine
  • Jason X
  • Thir13en Ghosts
  • Feardotcom
  • The Others
  • They
  • Darkness
  • Cabin Fever
  • Ghost Shop
  • Halloween: Resurrection
  • The Mothman Prophecies
  • The Stepford Wives
  • Exorcist: The Beginning
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse
  • Seed of Chucky
  • Suspect Zero
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
  • Club Dread
  • Gothika
  • Final Destination 2
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Open Water
  • House of 1000 Corpses
  • Willard
  • Wrong Turn
  • High Tension
  • House of the Dead
  • The Sin Eater
  • Resident Evil
  • 28 Days Later...
  • Paradise Lost
  • The Return
  • Constantine
  • White Noise
  • The Skeleton Key
  • House of Wax
  • The Descent
  • Cursed
  • Dark Water
  • Land of the Dead
  • An American Haunting
  • The Devil's Rejects
  • Cry Wolf
  • The Cave
  • Mindhunters
  • Bug
  • See No Evil
  • Slither
  • Pulse
  • Stay Alive
  • The Wicker Man
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
  • The Hills Have Eyes
  • Final Destination 3
  • Saw V
  • Saw VI
  • P2
  • The Orphanage
  • Dead Silence
  • Hostel: Part II
  • Vacancy
  • The Hills Have Eyes II
  • Grindhouse
  • The Mist
  • 28 Weeks Later
  • The Reaping
  • The Unborn
  • Drag Me to Hell
  • Halloween II
  • The Last House on the Left
  • Orphan
  • The Uninvited
  • Splice
  • Jennifer's Body
  • The Fourth Kind
  • Sorority Row
  • Pandorum
  • Whiteout
  • Case 39
  • Quarantine
  • The Strangers
  • The Eye
  • One Missed Call
  • Mirrors
  • Shutter
  • The X Files: I Want to Believe
  • The Haunting of Molly Hartley
  • The Ruins
  • 1408
  • Godsend
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • The Haunting in Connecticut
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Scary Movie 2
  • The Night Listener
  • The Fourth Kind

2010s[edit | edit source]

  • Crawl
  • Child's Play
  • It Follows
  • The Quiet Ones
  • As Above, So Below
  • Legion
  • Devil's Due
  • Captive State
  • The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
  • Victor Frankenstein
  • Unfriended
  • Annabelle
  • The Collection
  • The Purge: Anarchy
  • Unfriended: Dark Web
  • Hell Fest
  • Upgrade
  • The Possession of Hannah Grace
  • The First Purge
  • Insidious: The Last Key
  • Friend Request
  • Morgan
  • Incarnate
  • Meet the Blacks
  • A Cure for Wellness
  • Shut In
  • Life
  • Rings
  • The Bye Bye Man
  • The Witch
  • The Gallows
  • The Lazarus Effect
  • Crimson Peak
  • Insidious: Chapter 3
  • Poltergeist
  • The Visit
  • Flatliners
  • Mother!
  • It Comes at Night
  • Wish Upon
  • Overlord
  • Annihilation
  • Slender Man
  • Truth or Dare
  • Hereditary
  • Brightburn
  • My Soul to Take
  • Let Me In
  • Devil
  • Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
  • The Crazies
  • The Green Inferno
  • World War Z
  • Insidious
  • The Wolfman
  • The Last Exorcism
  • Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
  • Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
  • Silent House
  • Apollo 18
  • You're Next
  • The Thing
  • Fright Night
  • The Darkest Hour
  • Scream 4
  • Shark Night 3D
  • Priest
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • The Woman in Black
  • Sinister
  • Sinister 2
  • Chernobyl Diaries
  • House at the End of the Street
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
  • Annabelle Comes Home
  • Escape Room
  • Ma
  • Pet Semetary
  • The Intruder
  • Happy Death Day 2U
  • Ready or Not
  • 47 Meters Down
  • 47 Meters Down: Uncaged
  • Midsommar
  • The Prodigy
  • Don't Let Go
  • The Dead Don't Die
  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • The Strangers: Prey at Night
  • Final Destination 5
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Scary Movie 5
  • The Darkness
  • The Belko Experiment
  • Dead Awake
  • Blair Witch
  • The Forest
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
  • Ouija: Origin of Evil
  • The Boy
  • The Shallows
  • Lights Out
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • The Purge: Election Year
  • The Pyramid
  • The Last Exorcism 2
  • Dark Skies
  • Oculus
  • The Call
  • Carrie
  • Dark Shadows
  • Vampires Suck
  • Followed
  • The Other Lamb
  • The Wretched

2020s[edit | edit source]

  • Gretel & Hansel
  • The Hunt
  • The Grudge
  • Underwater
  • Brahms: The Boy II
  • The Turning
  • The Wolf of Snow Hollow Indig. Peoples' Day wknd
  • Relic
  • Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula
  • Shortcut
  • Possessor
  • The Empty Man
  • Spell
  • Horror Nights
  • The Unholy


  • Candyman
  • Last Night in Soho
  • Spiral
  • Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
  • Don't Breathe 2
  • The Forever Purge
  • A Quiet Place Part II
  • The Unholy
  • Halloween Kills
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage
  • Antlers
  • The Green Knight

Any films highlighted in bold reached their highest possible peak position, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the U.S. film industry was forced to put most of the box office data on hold in March of that year, also postponing releases and/or making movies available through early access rentals. Movies shown in select theatres earned a relatively little amount of money. A degree of normality did return by September, although social distancing restrictions still apply for all entertainment venues, and some venues had to close.  

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