The nightmare is the same every time. The monster won’t die. The monster just keeps returning. The monster won’t go away, no matter how many times he gets shot or has its head decapitated, the monster just gets back up. That’s usually the end of the nightmare, but it’s just the beginning of the franchise. Horror films are as common as romantic comedies. It’s one of the most popular genres and are huge money-makers for studios. Traditionally, the month of October and Halloween sees a number of horror films released. Some horror films become so popular that it leads to a sequel, and in some cases, an entire series. Some iconic horror monsters have been in multiple movies, TV shows, video games, novels and comic books. These franchises are so popular and have been around for so long, that they have transcended time. Here is a look at 11 of the most memorable horror movie franchises.
11) Friday The 13th Total Worldwide Box Office: $465,228,816
Friday The 13th revolves around the sick and sadistic Jason Voorhees, who as a young boy, drowned at Camp Crystal Lake because two counselors were being negligent. Each movie either features Jason, or his murder service as the motivation. The original Friday the 13th, released May 9,1980, actually featured Jason’s mom as the killer. There have been 12 movies, one TV show, numerous novels, several comic books and an endless line of merchandise. The series also featured the long awaited crossover between two of horrors biggest icons in Freddy Vs Jason.
10) The Exorcist Total Worldwide Box Office: $496,966,909
The Exorcist is about a young girl, who becomes possessed by a demon and two priests must exorcise it from the girl. The first film was released to critical acclaim on December 26, 1973. The series as a whole has received mixed reviews. But despite getting mixed reviews, the original film is considered to be one of the scariest and most influential horror films of all time. The series includes 5 films with two serving as a prequel.
9) Final Destination Total Worldwide Box Office: $502,616,212
Final Destination revolves around a character having a premonition of their, and other character’s death, in some type of horrific accident. They escape the actual accident because of the premonition but then are stalked by death, one by one, because they avoided death earlier. The series has received mixed reviews but has done very well at the box office. The first film was released March 17,2000 and was well received by critics. The series includes 5 movies and several novels.
8) Scream Total Worldwide Box Office: $532,237,630
Scream is one of the most successful and popular horror franchises of all time. The series revolves around a serial killer, Ghostface, who is stalking and killing teenagers in a small town. The original film, released December 20, 1996, was a critical and commercial success. The film is credited with revitalizing the slasher horror genre in the 90’s. The creators of the film series are Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven. There has been speculation for some time of a fifth and sixth film in the series. However, currently there is a Scream TV series in development that was green lit by MTV.
7) Predator Total Worldwide Box Office: $581,698,378
Predator is a horror franchise that revolves around an alien life form, Predator, who is far more technologically advanced than the humans it stalks and kills. The first film was released June 12, 1987 and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. The first film was a success at the box office but received positive to mixed reviews. The series includes three movies, novels, comic books and video games. The series also includes two crossover films with Alien Vs Predator.
6) Jaws Total Worldwide Box Office: $737,573,891
Jaws revolves around a killer white shark that attacks and kills the residents and visitors of a small summer resort town. The first film was a massive success and is considered to be the first summer blockbuster. It was the first film to have an innovative and heavy marketing campaign that had a very wide release in thousands of cinemas at the start of the summer. It was directed by Steven Spielberg and released June 20,1975. The first film is often regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. The rest of the series received mixed reviews with the last film, Jaws: The Revenge released July 17, 1987, being considered by many critics to be one of the worst films ever made. The series includes four movies, comic books, novels, video games and theme park rides.
5) Paranormal Activity Total Worldwide Box Office: $807,891,124
Paranormal Activity is a found footage film that revolves around a demonic entity that is haunting a family. The series is created by Oren Peli who had a horrible fear of ghosts his whole life. His attempt was to make the film as believable and scary as possible, without relying on gore and action. The first film was an independent film and was a big success in its opening weekend, bringing in $77,873 at the domestic box office. The movie used a camcorder and was stationary for the majority of the film. This enabled the director to cut back on the need for a crew. The series includes 5 movies with a sixth film expected in 2015. The series has received mixed reviews from critics but has done very well at the box office.
4) SAW Total Worldwide Box Office: $877,355,411
Saw revolves around the disturbed and twisted Jigsaw killer or his apprentices, setting up elaborate painful traps for their victims to escape. The series is highly profitable but has received mostly negative or mixed reviews. Some critics feel that the series is nothing more than “torture porn”. However, many defend the series, pointing out that it features little torture. The series includes 7 movies with the possibility of either a sequel or reboot.
3) Resident Evil Total Worldwide Box Office: $913,705,586
Resident Evil centers on Alice, Milla Jovovich, a former security agent who worked for the Umbrella Corporation. The corporation is responsible for the zombie apocalypse and Alice is now their enemy. The series is based on a video game series of the same name. It is the highest grossing film based on a video game. The first film was released March 15, 2002. The films have received mostly negative reviews but continues to perform very well at the box office. The series includes 5 films with a final film being released shortly.
2) Hannibal Lecter Total Worldwide Box Office: $921,486,656
The sick and twisted cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter is featured in the Hannibal horror franchise. He originally appeared in a number of very successful novels by Thomas Harris. The first film in the series was Manhunter, released August 15, 1986 and was directed by Michael Mann. The most successful film in the series was The Silence of the Lambs released February 14 ,1991, and featured the spine chilling performance of Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal. The film was a critical and commercial success, becoming only the third film in history to win all five of the big categories at the Academy Awards. The film won Best Director, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor and Best Actress in 1991. The franchises features 4 novels, 5 movies and a TV show.
1) Alien Total Worldwide Box Office: $1,406,580,804
Alien is a science fiction horror series that revolves around Ripley, Sigourney Weaver, as she battles with alien life-forms. The first film was released May 25, 1979, and received universal critical acclaim. The series consists of four films and each has had a different director, which were: Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The series also includes two Alien Vs Predator crossover films and an indirect prequel, Prometheus, released in 2012. In addition to that, there is a long line of merchandise, including: novels, comic books and video games. The series is the highest grossing horror franchise and has had a significant impact on the horror genre. It’s the 13th highest grossing franchise of all time.
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