The folks over at Movies, Films and Flix gathered copious data and figured out the best horror franchise of all time (statistically speaking). They broke down critic/audience ratings and box office information then gave the films a unique MFFM score.
Here is the MFF criteria for the data selection and breakdown:
1. The franchise needs to have at least four theatrically released films (Jaws I-III, Jaws: The Revenge). Compiling box office data on direct to DVD movies (Puppet Master etc..) isn’t possible and the data would be unreliable. You can find all the franchises that were included in the MFF article.
2. I took sequels (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), remakes (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and prequels (Texas Chainsaw: the Beginning) into account. Did you know that Texas Chainsaw 3D is a prequel to a prequel of a remake? It never ends.
3. The post will look at return on investment (ROI), highest average per franchise and which series averages were the highest after the first film. For instance, we all know The Exorcist made a lot of money. I want to know how the other Exorcist films did in comparison (not well). Take a look at the graph below. Many horror franchises have fallen off after this first film.
4. Critical/audience data was collected from Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb and Amazon. Metacritic did not have enough data so we excluded it from the MFFM.
5. I am looking only at domestic box office and had to leave out several international series due to lack of data.The toughest omission was the [Rec] series. I also had to leave out the Universal Monster franchises because there is a lack of consistent box-office data. Viva la Bride of Frankenstein though!
For more information of how the data was collected and analyzed stop by Movies, Films and Flix.
MFFM Score 50.6
Halloween stormed out of the gate but lost momentum as the series grew. Halloween H20 and the Halloween remake buoyed the box-office scores but they couldn't make up for other installments.
MFFM Score: 52
The Saw franchise was a money making machine that never failed to recoup its budget. However, the critic/audience scores became a hindrance as the quality declined (six is good though).
8. Nightmare on Elm Street
MFFM Score: 52.4
Nightmare on Elm Street has an impressive box-office pedigree but its later installments hurt its critic/audience scores.
7. The Omen
MFFM Score: 52.4
The Omen was a massive film that quickly lost its viewership with the second and third installments. The remake was successful so the the MFFM score went up.
Psycho exploded in 1960 and went on to do decent business with future installments. The biggest blemish is the 1998 shot for shot remake that was totally unnecessary.
MFFM Score: 54.5
Scream and Scream 2 are a beautiful one-two punch of self-aware horror. Critics and audiences loved them. Scream 3 did decent business but Scream 4 ended the momentum.
4. Paranormal Activity
MFFM Score: 54.9
The return on Investment on the PA series is amazing. However, the fourth and fifth installments dropped its critic/audience score and the first films ROI couldn't carry it all the way to victory.
3. Manhunter/Silence of the Lambs
MFFM Score: 55.2
Silence of the Lambs was a smash hit that improved upon its predecessor Manhunter. The later films made solid money but their ROI's weren't spectacular. Hannibal Rising hurt a lot.
2. Romero's Night of the Living Dead
MFFM Score: 56.4
Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead make for a beautiful triple header. Survival of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and the Night of the Living Dead remake not so much. Dawn of the Dead (2004) is a fantastic remake though.
1. Evil Dead
MFFM Score: 64.2
Evil Dead has the highest critical and audience scores and was the only series to double its box office with each film. Also, Evil Dead 2 has a higher critical rating than the original Evil Dead (that is rare) and Army of Darkness was the highest rated third franchise film.
Hail to the king!
What is your favorite horror franchise? Let me know!