Hardcore zombie fans sometimes have staunch descriptions of what a zombie is in its truest form. Yet, when it comes to the box office there tends to be more wiggle room. A lot of wiggle room. For the sake of this article we're going off of Box Office Mojo's list of the 15 highest grossing zombie films in the U.S.
28 Weeks Later (2007) - $28.6 Million
The follow-up to the 2003 infected hit follows a family torn apart, literally, by the rage virus. Idris Elba and Jeremy Renner provide solid support roles while Robert Carlyle plays a solid role as the father. Like any successful horror franchise, a sequel has been discussed.
Resident Evil (2002) - $40.1 Million
Finally, the movie that kicked off the successful franchise. Borrowing elements of the first two games, Alice struggles to remember what happened to her inside of the Umbrella Corporation's Raccoon City complex. Expect a sixth installment to hit theaters soon.
Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) - $42.3 Million
They just keep coming. The fifth installment of the series picks up immediately following Afterlife. Alice faces a struggle with the Umbrella Corporation in a remote location. While panned by most critics, Retribution did pick up some accolades, making a few critics best of the year lists.
28 Days Later (2003) - $45 Million
Director Danny Boyle is as versatile as they come. Before Slumdog Millionaire and District 9, he helmed this disaster film. Cillian Murphy gave a great performance, especially in handling the task of being the sole character on screen for the early part of the film.
Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) - $50.6 Million
One twist to this film is that the franchise's director, Paul W.S. Anderson, is not in the director's chair this time. Instead, Russell Mulcahy handled the directorial duties while Anderson produced. While the film was panned by critics, as usual, fans received it with a more lukewarm feeling.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) - $51.2 Million
In the first sequel, Alice is escaping Raccoon City with a band of survivors she comes across. With a heavy emphasis on action, fans overlooked the plot for the most part. The movie took pieces of several of the franchise's games, and that's pretty much all the fans want to see.
ParaNorman (2012) - $56 Million
The animated comedy featured a whole slew of ghoulish figures. While centering around a young boy talking to the dead, zombies are present in the film. Without spoiling anything, the zombies aren't what you'd expect.
Pet Sematary (1989) - $57.4 Million
Stephen King's novel was adapted to mixed reviews and fan reception. The story of a father's desperation to bring his son back from the dead did terrify fans. Nothing says creepy like an undead boy living in your house, right?
Death Becomes Her (1992) - $58.4 Million
This early '90s dark comedy received mixed reviews despite having stars Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn and Bruce Willis headlining the bill. Despite this, fans ate it up. While there are undead elements this is not a film you will find in a true zombie fan's collection.
Dawn of the Dead (2004) - $59 Million
Zack Snyder's remake of George Romero's classic zombie film pleased fans and critics alike. The remake deviated from the original at times, agitating some core fans and George Romero himself. However, on the scale of zombie films, this one is pretty solid.
Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) - $60.1 Million
This franchise is nonstop. Holding the Guinness record for most live adaptations of a video game, Afterlife is the fourth in the series. With a mostly original idea, the film took parts of the fifth video game to create the film. Critics may not have liked it, but fans continue to check out every instalment.
Warm Bodies (2013) - $66.4 Million
If you're a fan of the cartoon Bob's Burgers, you'll know why this has Tina Belcher's name written all over it. The romantic zombie film has a premise that could have taken this movie down a hokey path. However, creative writing and a talented cast made it popular with fans and critics, while adding depth to a sometimes overplayed genre.
Zombieland (2009) - $75.6 Million
When naming favorite zombie comedies most mainstream fans will say Shaun of the Dead or this one. The cast is great, including a truly out there cameo you have to see. After the box office success, rumors swirled about a possible sequel and TV show, but it never made it to air.
Hotel Transylvania (2012) - $148.3 Million
Ok, this one is a stretch. The animated comedy does have zombies in it as laboring grunts. If you're looking for a true zombie film, this is one to avoid.
World War Z (2013) - $202.3 Million
Brad Pitt's take on Max Brooks' successful book didn't please many source material fans. It also didn't please the original director, as rumors of on set clashes were heavily reported. However, when the dust settled the film was a bonafide hit. Expect a sequel.