“It’s a shit year for horror”. If you haven’t heard someone utter this remark yet, you will. There have been a total of 9 horror films with theatrical runs in 2012. Just nine (Cabin in the Woods and Prometheus are considered ‘Thrillers’. And these paltry nine films have resulted in only 8,323,830 tickets sold. A far cry from the 51,853,077 tickets sold last year and the record 100,171,155 tickets sold for horror films in 2007.
Until 2012 is completely in the record books, we don’t know how the year will stand up against its predecessors, but Killer Reviews decided to take a look back at the years of horror since 1995 to come up with two lists – The Best 5 Years of Horror and the Worst 5 Years of Horror. The best years will boast some impressive numbers and the worst 5 will prove that even in bad years, good movies can prevail.
Where do we start? With the bad years of course. Here now are our picks for the Worst 5 Years of Horror Film (Since 1995).
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 25
Top Horror Films: Saw 5, Mirrors, Quarantine
Total Gross of Horror Films: $294,256,854
Recap: The year was a disaster for horror fans. The top 7 highest grossing horror films of the year were Saw 5, I Am Legend, Prom Night, Quarantine, Mirrors, One Missed Call and Shutter. And I Am Legend was actually released in late 2009! The year provided little to cheer about with Diary of the Dead and The Ruins failing to capitalize on the horror starved fan base. Not since 1996 has less tickets been sold for horror theatrical releases.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 11
Top Horror Films: The Ring, Resident Evil, Queen of the Damned
Total Gross of Horror Films: $296,701,842
Recap: The Ring was bona fide hit taking in a healthy $120+ million. But after The Ring, the drop off is staggering. Resident Evil made $40 million and Queen of the Damned, $30 million. Films that failed to impress were the submarine ghost story Below, Jamie Lee Curtis again going after her evil brother in Halloween: Resurrection, Ghost Ship, Feardotcom and Jason Voorhees venture into space in Jason X. None of the titles were anything more than rainy day time wasters and had it not been for The Ring, the year would have been the worst year of horror ever recorded.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 8
Top Horror Films: From Dusk Till Dawn, Scream, The Frighteners
Total Gross of Horror Films: $94,800,900
Recap: Only eight horror films saw the inside of a theatre in all of 1996. From Dusk Till Dawn Scream, The Frighteners, Vampire in Brooklyn, Bad Moon, Bordello of Blood, Thinner and Hellraiser IV: Bloodline. And Scream and Vampire in Brooklyn were carryovers from 1995. Those 9 films combined for less than a 2% market share of the total box office pie and even if the numbers were adjusted for inflation today, the total would still only top out at just over $140 million. Dismal.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 16
Top Horror Films: Demon Night, The Prophecy, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Total Gross of Horror Films: $147,196,046
Recap: Here’s how bad the year was…after the above mentioned three titles, the rest of the year was highlighted with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Village of the Damned, Hideaway, The Mangler and Tales From the Hood. Granted, there were some overlooked films – Lord of Illusions, Candyman: Farewell to Flesh and In the Mouth of Madness – but the year was overall forgettable. Just think, Rumpelstiltskin was the 16th top grossing horror movie of 1995 taking in an embarrassing $185,000.
Total Number of Horror Films in Theatres: 28
Top Horror Films: Paranormal Activity 3, Insidious, Final Destination 5
Total Gross of Horror Films: $411,194,895
Recap: $400+ million is nothing to shake a stick at. But considering it was spread out over a total of 28 films and the number is less that generous. This was the year of embarrassing horror titles such as Priest 3D, The Rite and John Carpenter’s The Ward. There were plenty of missed opportunities in 2011. The Thing, the prequel to the 1982 classic failed to garner much interest at the box office. Neither did Fright Night or Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Paranormal 3 lead all peers taking in $104 million of 2011’s $400 million total. And only Kevin Smith’s Red State can be considered ‘over-looked’.
We will close with a ‘Watch This Space’ warning. 2012 is tracking as the worst year for horror possibly ever with all its hopes being pinned on another Paranormal Activity entry and the sequel Silent Hill: Revelation 3D.
Return next week for our Top 5 Best Years for Horror (Since 1995).
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Sources: The-Numbers.com, boxofficemojo.com, imdb.com