The year 2017 was the grand renaissance of the horror film, most notably with early-in-the-year releases like Split and Get Out. But you can bank that even though 2017 is over, horror is well primed to make a comeback over the next few years with the emergence of new franchises coming out and the revival of old flames.
Although the first half of 2017 was a stellar start to the year for horror films, it was what came in September that really put the horror genre at the top of the list, figuratively speaking. The horror genre still had to compete with the likes of Disney and their massive Star Wars film, but it did very well considering the genre is mostly overlooked for more family-friendly fare.
At the top of the Box Office Mojo list of highest grossing horror movies for 2017 is Stephen King’s IT. Weighing in at a stellar $327.4 million in the United States and $370 million outside the states, Stephen King’s IT was one of the top draws of the year bringing Warner Bros. a total of $698 million on a $35 million production budget. For an R-rated horror movie, those kinds of numbers are almost unheard of, even surpassing the 40-year-old horror record that was once held by The Exorcist.
— io9 (@io9) December 19, 2017
But just before Stephen King’s IT released in 2017, Jordan Peele also pulled off one of the biggest horror movie surprises ever when he released his critically acclaimed (and possibly an Oscar contender) debut film, Get Out. Also an R-rated film, it pulled in a stunning $175.4 million in the United States and $78.8 million overseas. The total $253.3 million haul made the cast and Peele himself overnight sensations. What’s even more impressive is the fact they did this on a meager $4.5 million budget.
The next big horror success story for 2017 belongs to M. Night Shyamalan, who returned to his old form of horror and suspense with the shocking psychotic drama, Split. It also featured a major twist during the end credits, revealing that Split is in fact a sequel/spinoff of his previous hit film, Unbreakable. The horror movie drew in $138.1 million domestic and $140.1 international, giving it a worldwide total of $278.3 million off a $9 million production budget. Not bad for a PG-13 horror movie.
Another gigantic success story for the horror genre in 2017 was Annabelle: Creation, which officially put The Conjuring franchise in the billionaires club, pulling in $102 million domestic and $204 million international for a total of $306 million worldwide. Also, you guessed it, the film was rated R.