The following table shows the 40 highest grossing movies at the box office (adjusted for inflation). Due to the difficulty of obtaining international box office data for older movies, this table refers to domestic (USA & Canada) box office only.

MovieYearDomestic Box Office
(nominal)
Domestic Box Office
(adjusted)
Jaws1975$260 M$1098.9 M
The Exorcist1973$193 M$885.5 M
The Sixth Sense1999$293.5 M$494 M
Young Frankenstein1974$86.3 M$391.7 M
Gremlins1984$148.2 M$378.4 M
Psycho1960$32 M$366.1 M
Signs2002$228 M$336.6 M
It2017$330M (proj.)$330 M (proj.)
I Am Legend2007$256.4 M$315.1 M
The Mummy Returns2001$202 M$306.2 M
The Amityville Horror1979$86.4 M$295.5 M
Jaws 21978$77.7 M$285 M
Alien1979$78.9 M$269.9 M
The Silence of the Lambs1991$130.7 M$266.5 M
The Mummy1999$155.4 M$262.4 M
Hannibal2001$165.1 M$250.3 M
Scary Movie2000$157 M$249.9 M
What Lies Beneath2000$155.5 M$247.5 M
The Omen1976$60.9 M$245.4 M
The Blair Witch Project1999$140.5 M$237.4 M
Poltergeist1982$76.6 M$223.6 M
Interview With the Vampire:
The Vampire Chronicles
1994$105.3 M$215.6 M
World War Z2013$202.4 M$214.8 M
King Kong1976$52.6 M$211.9 M
Aliens1986$85.2 M$196.9 M
Scream1996$103 M$193.5 M
The Ring2002$129.1 M$190.5 M
Scream 21997$101.3 M$187.9 M
Get Out2017$175.5 M$175.5 M
Halloween1978$47 M$172.3 M
Bram Stoker's Dracula1992$82.5 M$170.6 M
Sleepy Hollow1999$101.1 M$169.8 M
Van Helsing2004$120.2 M$166 M
Scary Movie 32003$110 M$156.5 M
The Conjuring2013$137.4 M$156.5 M
The Haunting1999$91.4 M$154.4 M
The Grudge2004$110.4 M$152.5 M
The Others2001$96.5 M$152.3 M
Scream 32000$89.1 M$147.7 M
The Shining1980$44.0 M$146.1 M

Jaws and The Exorcist have remained the top grossing movies (adjusted for inflation) for over 40 years and it is highly unlikely they will ever be bumped off the top two spots given their domestic take is almost double that of the next highest grossing movie on the list.

Some interesting things to note:

  • It became an unexpected box office smash in 2017, storming past the The Sixth Sense to become the highest grossing horror movie unadjusted for inflation, grossing $330 million domestically and almost $700 million worldwide.
  • M. Night Shyamalan, Ridley Scott, Stephen Sommers, and Wes Craven are the only directors with multiple movies in the horror top 40.
  • Seven sequels / franchise continuations make it into the list: The Mummy Returns, Hannibal, Jaws 2, Scream 2, Scream 3, Aliens, and Scary Movie 3. A further five movies are remakes: King Kong, The Haunting, The Mummy, The Grudge, and The Ring.
  • 1999-2002 was a golden period for horror movies with 13 of the 40 highest grossing films released in this period.
  • Only four movies made from 2008 onwards make the list (It, Get Out, The Conjuring, and World War Z).
  • The Blair Witch Project is the least expensive horror movie on the list with a budget of just $60,000. The most expensive movie on the list is World War Z with a production budget of $190 million.
  • Jaws and The Exorcist are the only two movies that finished as the highest grossing film of their respective years.
  • Jaws (#7) and The Exorcist (#9) are the only horror movies in the top 50 highest grossing movies of all time (inflation adjusted). The Sixth Sense is the next highest at #66.
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