ByJancy Richardson, writer at Creators.co
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Box office figures are an interesting indication of what's popular, particularly for horror movies: what do people like to be scared by? It's a strange question, but if we always knew the answer, we'd be churning out incredible horror movies every five minutes. Sometimes it's a case of creating the horror movie you want to make and hoping that people will be scared by it, rather than studying the public's fear and responding to it directly.

Check out the horror movie box office number ones for every year from the year 2000 to the present day — have you seen them all?

2000: Scream 3

Neve ''Sidney Prescott'' Campbell returns in 'Scream 3' [Credit: Dimension Films]
Neve ''Sidney Prescott'' Campbell returns in 'Scream 3' [Credit: Dimension Films]
  • Tagline: The most terrifying scream is always the last.
  • Budget: $40 million
  • Box Office: $161.8 million

Check out how much Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox were paid for the Scream movies here. Here's a little of Scream 3 for ya...

2001: Hannibal

Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore in 'Hannibal' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore in 'Hannibal' [Credit: Universal Pictures]
  • Tagline: The silence will be broken.
  • Budget: $87 million
  • Box Office: $351.6 million

2002: The Ring

Naomi Watts in 'The Ring' [Credit: DreamWorks Pictures]
Naomi Watts in 'The Ring' [Credit: DreamWorks Pictures]
  • Tagline: Before you die you see the ring.
  • Budget: $48 million
  • Box office: $249.3 million

2003: Freddy vs. Jason

Freddy and Jason work through their unresolved tensions in 'Freddy Vs Jason' [Credit: New Line Cinema]
Freddy and Jason work through their unresolved tensions in 'Freddy Vs Jason' [Credit: New Line Cinema]
  • Tagline: Winner kills all
  • Budget: $30 million
  • Box office: $114.9 million

2004: The Grudge

Sarah Michelle Gellar in 'The Grudge' [Credit: Columbia Pictures]
Sarah Michelle Gellar in 'The Grudge' [Credit: Columbia Pictures]
  • Tagline: Once you see it, you can never forget. Once it sees you, you can never escape
  • Budget: $10 million
  • Box office: $187.2 million

When you watched The Grudge, did you have to hide under the covers?

2005 - 2008: Everyone saw Saw

See also:

2005: Saw II

'Saw II' [Credit: Lionsgate]
'Saw II' [Credit: Lionsgate]
  • Tagline: New game. Different pieces.
  • Budget: $4 million
  • Box office: $147.7 million

2006: Saw III

J. LaRose in 'Saw III' [Credit: Lionsgate]
J. LaRose in 'Saw III' [Credit: Lionsgate]
  • Tagline: If it's Halloween it must be Saw...
  • Budget: $10 million
  • Box office: $164.8 million

2007: I Am Legend

Will Smith and his canine companion in 'I Am Legend' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Will Smith and his canine companion in 'I Am Legend' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
  • Tagline: The last man on earth is not alone
  • Budget: $150 million
  • Box office: $585.3 million

FYI, if it weren't for the gigantic marketing budget behind dystopian thriller I Am Legend (which one could contest is not truly a horror movie), the biggest horror hit of 2007 would have been Saw IV, which made $139.3 million on a $10 million budget.

2008: Saw V

'Saw V' [Credit: Lionsgate]
'Saw V' [Credit: Lionsgate]
  • Tagline: You won't believe how it ends.
  • Budget: $10.8 million
  • Box office: $113.8 million

2009 - 2012: The Paranormal Activity Years

2009: Paranormal Activity

Katie and Micah in 'Paranormal Activity' [Credit: Blumhouse]
Katie and Micah in 'Paranormal Activity' [Credit: Blumhouse]
  • Tagline: What happens when you sleep?
  • Budget: $15,000
  • Box office: $193.4 million

2010: Paranormal Activity 2

'Paranormal Activity 2' [Credit: Blumhouse]
'Paranormal Activity 2' [Credit: Blumhouse]
  • Tagline: Last year you demanded it. But that was just the beginning
  • Budget: $3 million
  • Box office: $177.5 million

2011: Paranormal Activity 3

'Paranormal Activity 3' [Credit: Blumhouse]
'Paranormal Activity 3' [Credit: Blumhouse]
  • Tagline: It Runs In The Family
  • Budget: $5 million
  • Box office: $207 million

2012: Paranormal Activity 4

'Paranormal Activity 4' [Credit: Blumhouse]
'Paranormal Activity 4' [Credit: Blumhouse]
  • Tagline: It's Closer Than You Think
  • Budget: $5 million
  • Box office: $142.8 million

2013 - 2016: Annabelle Goes Wild

2013: The Conjuring

Hide & Clap in 'The Conjuring' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Hide & Clap in 'The Conjuring' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
  • Tagline: Based on the true case files of the Warrens
  • Budget: $20 million
  • Box office: $318 million

2014: Annabelle

'Annabelle' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
'Annabelle' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
  • Tagline: Before The Conjuring, there was Annabelle.
  • Budget: $6.5 million
  • Box office: $256.9 million

2015: Goosebumps

Jack Black and co. in 'Goosebumps' [Credit: Columbia Pictures]
Jack Black and co. in 'Goosebumps' [Credit: Columbia Pictures]
  • Tagline: You will believe in monsters
  • Budget: $58 million
  • Box office: $150.2 million

Check out more big box office horror hits of 2015 here. FYI, if it we don't accept Goosebumps as a horror movie, then the champion of 2015's horror box office was Insidious 3, which made $113 million on a $10 million budget.

2016: The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist

'The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
'The Conjuring 2: The Enfield Poltergeist' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
  • Tagline: The next true story from the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren
  • Budget: $40 million
  • Box office: $320.3 million

Check out more big box office horror hits of 2016 here.

#1 Box Office Horror Trends Since 2000

  • 11 / 17 are sequels
  • 2 / 17 are remakes of Japanese movies
  • 3/17 are Saw movies
  • 4 / 17 are Blumhouse
  • 4 / 17 are Paranormal Activity Movies

Poll

Have you seen all of the movies on this list?

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

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