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2017 is Officially the Best Year Ever for Horror Films

2017 is Officially the Best Year Ever for Horror Films

Throughout the history of cinema, there have been movies designed to terrify, to petrify, to liquefy, to other-things-ify audiences with depictions of monsters, ghouls, ghosts, and otherwise scary folks. It’s one of the oldest genres there is and yet…for a good portion of the age of motion pictures, horror films have been relegated to throwaway popcorn fare, or, if too good, marketed as “thrillers” to avoid the stigma.

But horror has always been a winner with audiences, and a new report by the New York Times tells us that 2017 has been the biggest year for horror in the history of the U.S. box office.

Thus far, the box office haul for horror movies has been $733.5 million, making it the biggest year of the decade for horror and the biggest year of all time. Surely inflation has a lot to do with that, but the fact that movies like It can bring in over $321 million and Jordan Peele’s Get Out can make over $175 million in a very non-horror friendly time of year proves that a) people are in the mood for this kind of dark entertainment, and 2) that the market is there for studio-produced, not-at-all-watered-down R-rated horror.

In addition to the biggest horror hit of the year (It is currently the fifth highest-grossing film), Blumhouse had another big year, with Split and the recent Happy Death Day as well as Get Out all doing very well with audiences. Even the relatively under-the-radar Annabelle: Creation made over $100 million. Horror movies tend to have fairly low budgets, especially in the Blumhouse camp, and if they keep the quality up and have good word of mouth, there’s no reason they can’t make lots and lots of money.

I think in general, this points to two trends. The first is that we’re in a time in history where the world seems very scary anyway, and times like that always drive audiences to horror in a big, escape-seeking way. The other is that, unlike these blockbuster franchise movies that cost upwards of $100 million, horror films can get by with a lot less and recoup upwards of ten times their budgets. Maybe this means we’ll see a return of mid-range budgets.

What have you thought of this year’s big horror output? Let us know in the comments below!

Images: New Line/Blumhouse

We love horror, especially at Nerdoween!

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