From 'Halloween' to 'Hereditary': 6 Thrillers That Killed It at the 2018 Box Office

7:20 AM 11/2/2018

by Scott Roxborough

'The Nun' and 'A Quiet Place' also found success on the big screen.

'Halloween'
'Halloween'
Courtesy of Ryan Green/Universal Pictures

Scary movies are the closest thing going to a sure thing at the box office, and not just around Halloween.

This year, horror showed it can deliver at every budget level and with every demographic, from studio-released chillers to spooky features with art house aspirations, to low-to-no budget fare delivering multiples on their production investments.

Here are six very different films that contributed to the gory rising horror tide at the box office this year.

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Nov. 2 daily issue at the American Film Market.

  • Halloween

    $178 million (through Nov. 1)

    Courtesy of Universal

    David Gordon Green’s revival of John Carpenter’s slasher classic, featuring original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis, is on its way to becoming one of the most profitable horror movies of all time.

  • Hereditary

    $79 million

    Courtesy of A24

    Casting proper actors Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne in a grown-up horror feature for adults proved box-office magic for A24, which successfully marketed Hereditary to fanboy as well as art house audiences.

  • Mandy

    $1.1 million (Domestic Box-Office)

    Courtesy of Benjamin Loeb

    Panos Cosmatos’ deconstruction of the revenge film wowed critics and offered Nicolas Cage his best reviews in years. Even if the film’s out-there style didn’t cross over into mainstream success, its growing cult status means it will likely have a long afterlife on VOD.

     

  • The Nun

    $364 million

    Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

    The latest in New Line’s The Conjuring franchise was panned by critics, but its combination of a spooky setting, brand-name recognition and oldfashioned jump scares delivered in theaters.

  • A Quiet Place

    $339 million

    Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures

    Paramount pulled off a Get Out with this feature directed by actor John Krasinski, a monster movie that succeeded in drawing a crossover audience thanks to a stylish approach that drew on classic silent cinema.

  • Strangers: Prey at Night

    $25 million (Domestic Box Office)

    Brian Douglas/Aviron Pictures

    This long-in-coming sequel to the sleeper from 2008 proved there’s life left in the low-budget home-invasion chiller.