Horror has been a bright spot on the cinematic landscape for the past few years, with many films – some even originally intended for broadcast – making it big at the box office.
No horror movie released in 2023 has yet topped the horror movie of 2021, A Quiet Place: Part II ($160.2 million), or 2022 NO ($123.2 million) – but the year isn’t over yet and new entries are coming in Wise, smart, cleverForward, AND Exorcist franchises (plus Disney’s Haunted mansion, out this weekend) will continue to hit theaters before the year is out. Here are the five best horror movies of 2023 so far, ranked by domestic gross. Note: this article will be updated as the year progresses.
#1: Scream VI
Publication date: March 10
Opening weekend: 44.4 million dollars
Internal total: 108.1 million dollars
Paramount production ramped up on the sixth installment of the scream franchise following its simply titled immediate prequel scream— became a bright spot on the Q1 2022 calendar, opening to $30 million in mid-January. Scream VI took the action away from the franchise’s typical suburban setting, moving Ghostface and the rest to New York City. With $108.1 million, it earned:
- +32% over 2022 scream with 81.6 million dollars
- +4% over the 1996 original scream with 103.0 million dollars
- +6% over 1997 Yelled 2 with 101.3 million dollars
Scream VI has the highest opening weekend ($44.4 million) and highest gross of the series domestically, though adding international earnings, it trails the original scream AND Yelled 2.
Publication date: January 6
Opening weekend: 30.4 million dollars
Internal total: 95 million dollars
This Blumhouse Productions title became a surprise hit for Universal, riding a wave of positive buzz to just $100 million in North America. Word of mouth was a big factor for this film; a clip from the trailer of the title character dancing achieved instant meme status upon release and was later parodied on Saturday Night Live.
A $30.4 million opening was followed by weeks of strong holdings, culminating in a $95 million total for this installment of the original horror IP. A sequel is scheduled for January 17, 2025.
#3: Secret: The Red Door*
*still in theaters
Publication date: July 7
Opening weekend: 33.0 million dollars
Internal total: $71.1 million to date
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne and Ty Simpkins of the original Secretly returning for the final installment of the franchise, with first-time feature director Wilson in the director’s chair. Compared to other films in Secretly series, The Red DoorThe opening falls in the middle of the pack: higher than the debut weekends of the first entry ($13.2 million) and the third entry ($22.6 million), but still Undercover: Chapter 2arc of 40.2 million dollars.
#4: Dead evil rises
Publication date: April 21
Opening weekend: 24.5 million dollars
Internal total: 67.2 million dollars
with Dead evil rises, Warner Bros. grossed more at the box office than they originally planned—roughly $67.2 million more, given that the film was originally slated for a theatrical release only. Although its opening weekend came in -5% less than Sam Raimi’s 2013 reboot of the original The Evil Deadtotal run for Arise surpassed his predecessor by starting on the respective sixth days, a sign of positive word. everyone said Arise finished about +24% over its predecessor’s $54.2 million total.
*still in theaters
20th Century Studios
Opening weekend: 12.3 million dollars
Internal total: $43.2 million to date
An adaptation of a short story by Stephen King, Boogeyman opened to $12.3 million in early June; with $41.9 million in its fifth week of release, it will finish under $50 million. Compared to other Stephen King adaptations of the past decade, Boogeyman is performing slightly better than 2019 Doctor Sleep ($31.5 million) and 2013 Carrie ($35.2 million).