World War Z

Horror movies continue to make a dent in the cinema world primarily because of films that center on zombie attacks and the supernatural. These topics have been hot ones for the past few years and that remains true in 2013. Now that we’re getting close to the year’s end, we wanted to take a look at which films have made the most bank this past year. Some of them might surprise you, especially when it comes to the money they have made, while others might have slipped by your radar. The following revenue amounts are for the U.S. market only and they’re according to website The Numbers.

1. World War Z

Based on the Max Brooks novel of the same name, World War Z stars Brad Pitt as a former UN investigator who’s tasked with putting an end to a zombie outbreak. He treks across the globe from Philadelphia (where the film starts) to Jerusalem to Nova Scotia in his quest. Speaking of his quest, we expect to see it continued on in future films in this series.

Gross: $202,359,711
Release date: June 21

2. The Conjuring

It’s no surprise to see The Conjuring here given its universal praise from critics and viewers alike. With good reason, because the film is realistically creepy. The direction makes you feel like you’re in the house back in the 1970s with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as their characters investigate the haunting of a Rhode Island home in the 1970s.

Gross: $137,274,464
Release date: July 19

3. Insidious: Chapter 2

In the follow-up to 2011’s Insidious, Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne again play couple Josh and Renai Lambert. And they’re still trying to figure out how and why they have become linked to the spirit world, which brings the viewer from the past to the present with plenty of creepy scenes in between. If you’re looking for a film to mess with your head, well, this would be it.

Gross: $78,517,509
Release date: Sept. 13

4. Mama

If anyone has an eye for equally trippy and creepy horror films, it’s Guillermo del Toro. He’s the executive producer of Mama, which centers on two young girls aided by a chilling creature/presence (named Mama) that kills their murderous father. Throughout the movie, you learn the backstory of Mama amid a chilling, sometimes-confusing narrative that can get grisly at times.

Gross: $71,628,180
Release date: Jan. 18

5. Evil Dead

The 2013 version of Evil Dead serves as a reboot for the cult favorite and it centers on much of the story associated with the original films. You have people getting possessed, terrorized, and killed off by demons in the middle of the woods. There are plenty of differences, though, including the origin story and the reason for the protagonists going to the cabin. It turns out that they’re trying to end a friend’s heroin addiction, which provides an interesting spin on the plot.

Gross: $54,239,856
Release date: April 5

6. Texas Chainsaw 3D

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre series traveled to the realm of 3D films earlier this year. The latest movie featuring the chainsaw-wielding madman known as Leatherface takes place after the original. It follows the story of protagonist Heather, who travels to Newt, Texas with friends to collect her inheritance. As you can probably guess, that’s when things immediately go south for the crew.

Gross: $34,341,945
Release date: Jan. 4

Part of the reason for the success for these films, especially World War Z, is the incredible popularity of television series The Walking Dead. The show is so popular, in fact, that it’s been made into a slot machine by Australian company Aristocrat. Likewise, other chilling/horror-tinged films like Blade and Ghost Rider have been further immortalized as games at online casino Betfair. There’s even a Halloween-themed game, which makes sense considering we’re but a few days away from the best holiday of the year.

What do you think of the financial success of these films? Do you think it’s warranted or did too many folks shell out money for the wrong movies? Let us know in the comments section.

Brandon Gentry
Written by Brandon Gentry
Brandon Gentry is a horror fan, Media Director & contributor for You can hear him drinking malt liquor as a regular guest on the 40oz. of Horror Podcast Follow Brandon on Twitter @brandongentry.