Horror movies have always been the bread and butter of the movie industry in a way. They are, generally speaking, cheap to make and can bring in massive returns on investment. Even if a horror movie “bombs,” it’s hard for anyone in Hollywood to lose a lot of money on them. But 2017 has been an especially amazing year for horror movies. In fact, according to a new report, 2017 is now officially the biggest year of all time for horror movies at the box office.
Thanks to massive hits like Andy Muschietti’s IT and Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out, horror movies have brought in more than $733 million at the domestic box office. Considering that other movies like Happy Death Day and Jigsaw, which is expected to take the top spot over the Halloween weekend at the box office, are still raking in the dough, that massive number is only going to get bigger. It’s not hard to imagine the domestic box office for horror movies in 2017 crossing the $800 million mark.
So far, the biggest horror movie of the year, and pretty much ever, is IT. Domestically, the movie has made $321.2 million, blowing away everyone’s expectations. The only movies that made more are a trio of big-budget superhero movies (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman) and Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, which takes the top spot with $504 million. Get Out is in second for horror flicks this year with $175.7 million. The other heavy hitters are Split with $138.1 million and Annabelle: Creation, which raked in a very respectable $102 million.
Even atrociously terrible offerings like The Bye Bye Man ($22.3 million) have contributed significantly to the big year for horror. But no single man has contributed more than Jason Blum, head of Blumhouse Productions. His system of making horror movies for tiny budgets paid off in 2017 more than ever before. Get Out, Split and Happy Death Day all come from Blumhouse, meaning they’ve had an especially profitable year. New Line brought us IT and Annabelle: Creation, so those two studios alone are largely responsible for the huge year.
2017 is likely to spark a continuing trend in Hollywood that has seen an uptick in demand for high-quality horror movies. This really kicked into high gear with The Conjuring and has been on the rise ever since. The New York Times report didn’t account for inflation, but they did look at the biggest years in every decade since the 70s. Prior to 2017, it was 2000 ($617.7 million), that was the best year, largely on the back of the slasher hit Scream. With plenty more potentially massive horror movies in development, like IT: Chapter Two, The Conjuring 3 and Jordan Peele’s untitled original thriller, the next couple of years should see massive numbers for horror as well.