The highest-grossing horror movies of all time range from big-budget films such as Van Helsing to Blair Witch Project, which was shot for just $60,000.

Horror movies are a genre that rewards fright and scares over big-budget excess. Independent small movies like the original Halloween (1978) or Friday the 13th (1980) can become big hits and spawn enduring franchises despite having low production values. The lowest budgeted film on our list had a budget of just $60,000 and went on to gross more than $248 million. Even big studio releases, like It (2017), tend to be rather affordable. Atmosphere and suspense come from skilled filmmaking, not big budgets.

In compiling our list of the highest-grossing horror movies of all time, we tried to stick to true horror movies (not monster movies like Godzilla). The list is not adjusted for inflation, making the box office performance of films like The Exorcist (1973), which remains one of the top-grossing horror movies, that much more impressive. The box office data was pulled from Box Office Mojo.

Here Are The 25 Highest-Grossing Horror Movies of All Time:

1. It (2017)

Box Office

  • U.S. $328 million
  • International $372 million
  • Total $701 million
  • Budget $35 million

Warner Bros. adaptation of Stephen King’s massive novel became the highest-grossing horror film of all-time. The film tells the story of Pennywise, an evil entity from beyond that feeds upon a small Maine town’s fears and its children. Eventually, a small group of kids known as The Losers Club learns of Pennywise’s existence and works to stop it. The novel numbered over 1,000 pages, so Warner Bros. wisely decided to split the narrative into two films.

2. The Sixth Sense (1999)

Box Office

  • U.S. $293 million
  • International $379 million
  • Total $672 million
  • Budget $40 million

Buena Vista Pictures’ The Sixth Sense was one of the biggest movies of 1999 and one of the highest-grossing horror movies of all-time. Starring Bruce Willis as a psychologist trying to help a young boy played by Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense established writer/director M. Night Shyamalan as a star filmmaker. Unlike many of the films on this list, The Sixth Sense has little gore and instead was carried by its atmospheric story-telling, fine acting, and a twist ending that is earned and still talked about today.

3. It Chapter 2 (2019)

Box Office

  • U.S. $211 million
  • International $261 million
  • Total $473 million
  • Budget $79 million

Warner Bros.’s follow-up to 2017’s It, the sequel saw its total box office fall by about 32 percent. The sequel still was a tremendous hit as it finished the story begun just two years earlier. It’s 27 years after the first film’s events, and the Losers Club kids have grown up. Still haunted by Pennywise and many of their childhood fears, the gang returns home to deal with the evil entity known as It one final time.

4. Jaws (1975)

Box Office

  • U.S. $260 million
  • International $211 million
  • Total $471 million
  • Budget $7 million

Director Steven Spielberg’s first hit, Jaws, helped establish the idea of the “summer blockbuster” and “event picture” in Hollywood. When Universal released Jaws the film was an absolute phenomenon – the fact that it was made 45 years ago and still ranks third on this list despite inflation attests to this fact. Based on Peter Benchley’s novel, the film tells the story of a New England town terrorized by a Great White Shark. The town mayor is insistent on keeping the beaches open for the tourism season despite the potential danger.

Jaws was also the 2nd highest-grossing movie of the 1970s.

5. The Exorcist (1973)

Box Office

  • U.S. $232 million
  • International $208 million
  • Total $441 million
  • Budget $11 million

Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Exorcist set the standard for modern horror. Like Jaws, its legacy and place among the most successful horror films of all-time remains nearly 50 years later. Directed by William Friedkin and based on a novel by William Peter Blatty, the film is loosely inspired by an actual incident in 1949. The Warner Bros. film follows the ordeal of a 12-year-old girl (Linda Blair) who may or may not be possessed by a malevolent spirit. Ellyn Burstyn plays the girl’s mother.

6. Signs (2002)

Box Office

  • U.S. $227 million
  • International $180 million
  • Total $408 million
  • Budget $72 million

Signs had a different take on what an alien invasion might be like. Mel Gibson plays a former Episcopal priest who discovers large crop circles on his farm. The circles end up being a precursor to an alien invasion that will occur on a house-by-house basis across the world. The film was a huge hit for Walt Disney, even if its conclusion was a bit underwhelming.

7. The Nun (2018)

Box Office

  • U.S. $117 million
  • International $248 million
  • Total $365 million
  • Budget $22 million

The fifth installment in Warner Bros.’s Conjuring film universe, The Nun is a spin-off of The Conjuring 2. A supernatural thriller involving a demon who can appear as a nun, the film joins a long pantheon of films that mix horror and religion to terrifying effect.

8. Hannibal (2001)

Box Office

  • U.S. $165 million
  • International $186 million
  • Total $351 million
  • Budget $87 million

The follow-up to 1991’s Best Picture Silence of the Lambs, Universal Pictures’ Hannibal saw many of those involved with the first film, including star Jodie Foster and director Jonathan Demme, pass on being involved in the sequel. The reason was the extreme nature of Thomas Harris’ book on which the film is based. Unlike Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal is the star of the sequel and the hero. The film is less about a story and more about shocking images and sequences, often involving cannibalism or human eating pigs. Unlike the first film, the sequel is not tethered to reality.

9. A Quiet Place (2018)

Box Office

  • U.S. $188 million
  • International $152 million
  • Total $340 million
  • Budget $17 million

John Krasinski, best known as Jim on The Office, wrote, directed, and starred in this unexpected hit from 2018. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by creatures who attack and kill based on sound. The Abbott family has survived by living in silence and fear. An atmospheric and suspenseful horror film, The Quiet Place was a huge hit for Paramount Pictures and spawned a sequel.

10. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Box Office

  • U.S. $102 million
  • International $217 million
  • Total $320 million
  • Budget $40 million

A sequel to the 2013 hit The Conjuring; the follow-up continues the story of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. This time the Warrens travel to the United Kingdom to help a family experiencing terrifying paranormal activity. The film was a big success for Warner Bros. and continued to cement The Conjuring film franchise.

11. The Conjuring (2013)

Box Office

  • U.S. $137 million
  • International $182 million
  • Total $319 million
  • Budget $20 million

The first film in The Conjuring universe, the story follows paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. In 1971, the Warrens attempt to help a Rhode Island family after they move into a farmhouse and face paranormal disturbances. Although the Conjuring films are inspired by and loosely based on the Warrens’ experiences, skeptics and scientists have largely debunked their claims and supposed evidence.

12. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

Box Office

  • U.S. $26 million
  • International $285 million
  • Total $312 million
  • Budget $40 million

Debuting in 1996 as a video game developed by Capcom for the Playstation and Sega Saturn, the horror series became so popular that it inspired a film franchise. Although it did poor business in the U.S., the video game’s global appeal helped fuel the success of Sony Pictures’ The Final Chapter, the sixth film in the series. The films follow the actions of the evil Umbrella Corporation and the T-virus, which can turn humans into zombies and cause other monstrous mutations.

13. Annabelle: Creation (2017)

Box Office

  • U.S. $102 million
  • International $204 million
  • Total $306 million
  • Budget $15 million

Another entry in The Conjuring universe, this film is a prequel to 2014’s Annabelle. The story follows dollmaker Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther as they grieve the loss of their daughter Annabelle. Eventually, a malevolent demon begins terrorizing the family and taking the form of their deceased daughter.

14. Van Helsing (2004)

Box Office

  • U.S. $120 million
  • International $179 million
  • Total $300 million
  • Budget $160 million

In relative terms, Van Helsing was a moderate box office success. With a $160 million budget, a box office take of $300 million is underwhelming, especially after marketing and distribution costs are subtracted. Still, Universal’s story of the monster-hunting Van Helsing found an audience. It featured several well-known characters Universal had the rights to, including Mr. Hyde, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, and Count Dracula.

15. Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Box Office

  • U.S. $60 million
  • International $240 million
  • Total $300 million
  • Budget $60 million

In the fourth film in the Resident Evil series, Milla Jovovich continues to star as Alice as the Umbrella Corporation, and the T-virus threatens humanity. Filled with action, the film proved popular with overseas audiences.

16. Shutter Island (2010)

Box Office

  • U.S. $128 million
  • International $166 million
  • Total $294 million
  • Budget $80 million

Director Martin Scorsese’s psychological thriller follows a U.S. Marshall (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) investigating a psychiatric facility’s goings-on. Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, the film makes the most of its setting in an asylum for the criminally insane in 1954. A solid work amongst Scorsese long, impressive career, Shutter Island was a big hit for Paramount.

17. Split (2016)

Box Office

  • U.S. $138 million
  • International $140 million
  • Total $278 million
  • Budget $9 million

M. Night Shyamalan’s stealth sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable, Universal Pictures’ Split stars Jude Law as a man with multiple personality disorder. Whereas Unbreakable provided a unique take on the superhero origin movie, Split is similarly structured as the origin story of a supervillain. Shyamalan ended the connected stories of Unbreakable and Split with 2019’s Glass.

18. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Box Office

  • U.S. $130 million
  • International $142 million
  • Total $272 million
  • Budget $19 million

Orion Pictures’ Silence of the Lambs was a critical and commercial smash hit, winning the top five academy awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film stars Jodie Foster as an FBI agent investigating a serial killer who has kidnapped his latest planned victim. Hoping for insight, she turns to Hannibal Lecter, an incarcerated psychopath, played by Anthony Hopkins.

19. Annabelle (2014)

Box Office

  • U.S. $84 million
  • International $172 million
  • Total $257 million
  • Budget $6.5 million

Another film in The Conjuring film universe, Annabelle, tells the story of a family terrorized by a supernatural force after their neighbors are killed in a home invasion. One of the perpetrators dies while holding Annabelle, a porcelain doll leading to terrifying paranormal activity.

20. The Village (2004)

Box Office

  • U.S. $114 million
  • International $142 million
  • Total $256 million
  • Budget $60 million

Another M. Night Shyamalan film, this Touchstone Pictures’ production, takes place in a turn-of-the-century village with limited technology. Scary monsters apparently haunt the woods surrounding the community. Eventually, events transpire that lead a young woman to venture into the unknown and discover the true secrets of The Village.

21. Halloween (2018)

Box Office

  • U.S. $159 million
  • International $96 million
  • Total $255 million
  • Budget $10 million

Blumhouse Productions’ reboot of Halloween was a hit with critics and audiences in 2018. The film ignored all of the previous Halloween sequels and reboots (nine films in all!) and is instead a direct sequel to the original 1978 film. The strategy worked and reinvigorated the series. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode doing battle with Michael Myers 40 years after the first film’s events.

22. Get Out (2017)

Box Office

  • U.S. $176 million
  • International $79 million
  • Total $255 million
  • Budget $4.5 million

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, Get Out was a critical and financial success selected as one of the best films of the year by the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. The Universal Pictures film follows African American photographer Chris Washington, who is visiting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time and is a bit nervous about the meeting. Mixing racism and horror themes, the film was an effective satire that also provided thrills and suspense.

23. Us (2019)

Box Office

  • U.S. $175 million
  • International $80 million
  • Total $255 million
  • Budget $20 million

Two years after the success of Get Out, writer/director Jordan Peele returned with another unorthodox horror film. This time, the Universal Pictures film involves the loss of identity as duplicates appear and take their counterparts’ place. More terrifying than Get Out, Us works even if its ending doesn’t quite make much sense.

24. The Ring (2002)

Box Office

  • U.S. $129 million
  • International $120 million
  • Total $249 million
  • Budget $48 million

Dreamworks Pictures’ The Ring tells the story of a circulating cursed videotape. Modern audiences might wonder what, exactly, is a videotape. Still, this is an effective horror film that has lasted the test of time.

25. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Box Office

  • U.S. $140 million
  • International $108 million
  • Total $248 million
  • Budget $60,000

The epitome of the low budget horror film that becomes a huge hit, the story behind The Blair Witch Project is almost more compelling than the film. Three actors were set in the woods, given outlines of what was happening, and then improvised most of the film. The premise is that the three main characters enter the woods to create a documentary about the Blair Witch – only to disappear. Their footage is found, and the film you are watching tells the story of what happened.