2010 played out as a year where studios cashed in on the box office draw of the horror genre based off the previous year's numbers. There were quite a few horror films that made their way into theaters in 2009, and overall the numbers were not too bad as far as performance goes, which reflects greatly on 2010 where there were even more cinematic horror releases for moviegoers to choose from.
As was the case with 2009, the horror seemed to come in droves. With an overload of bloody releases coming in the months of August, September and October, the horror genre was once again competing with itself. Still, there were a few genre films that made an impact, however, the non-sequel/non-remake movie presence could have been better on the higher grossing end of the spectrum, but remakes weren't exactly the biggest splash this past year, either. Alright, lets take a loot at the (domestic) numbers and positions for the films that made an impact at the box office in 2010.
Unsurprisingly, at the number 4 spot, Twilight Saga: Eclipse simply pulled in straight cash, homey, with over 350 million bucks. As much as people will cry about it not being "their" type of horror, it's still a vampire story, which makes it something that shouldn't be ignored in this situation. The previous Twilight film also came in at number four in 2009 but made under 300 million at the box office, so it looks like the Saga will continue to grow, despite the discontent for it by so many.
Balancing out the Twilight scales a little bit was Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, which pulled in at a solid number 16 for 2010. Regardless of some genre fans debating its validity as a horror film, Shutter Island was able to scare up a nice chunk of change with 128 million dollars. This is something that reflects upon the fact that there is still an audience eager for something original and made with some sort of respect to their intelligence.
In what I would have never expected, the number 34 film, Paranormal Activity 2, did very well at the box office with a gross of over 84 million dollars. I also never expected it to be any good, either, but the general consensus with horror fans was that it was a solid sequel to a film that didn't really need a part two attached. Either way - no matter what the fans thought - even if the budget was much higher than that of the first film, it still made all that dough with a measly cost of 3 million bucks. So I think it's safe to say we can keep a look out for PA3 next October. You heard it hear first! Or probably somewhere else, but I'll just pretend like I broke the story.
Sleepwalking in at number 46, A Nightmare On Elm Street received harsh criticism from most horror fans and critics alike. I know it's that negative talk that has kept me from taking a chance and seeing the film yet (but it is inevitable), and I think that word of mouth spread to box office as the film only dreamt up a measly 63 million dollars. In comparison to its 35 million dollar production budget, it's a modest hit, sure, but I think the return of Freddy was expected to be a lot bigger than it was.
After a long and difficult road to the big screen, The Wolfman won over more horror fans than I think most people would have ever expected. However, sitting not so pretty at number 48, with an intake of 61 million dollars, the film didn't do so hot. Especially in comparison to an estimated budget of 150 MILLION BUCKS! Train wreck, indeed. Taking the 50th spot in 2010 was the never say die franchise, Resident Evil: Afterlife, which I think might still have a long afterlife with a 60 million dollar domestic run. Now, that doesn't sound great since it had a 60 million dollar budget, but with a worldwide gross of over 233 million bucks, it's a sure bet that Alice isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
The mostly welcome non-vs. Predators did modestly pulling in 62 million to nab the number 62 spot for the year, which isn't too bad when compared to the 40 million dollar budget the movie movie was made for. And with the addition of a new dimension and the possibility of it being the final film in the franchise, Saw 3D came back from 2009's poor showing, bringing in almost 46 million dollars (more than double the 20 million dollar production cost) to take the 66 spot.
Hitting the final stretch at 72, The Last Exorcism showed a strong presence with a 41 million dollar intake. The film was budgeted at less than 2 million, so there's really nothing but upswing there for both the cash generated as well as for lower-budgeted horror. Box office intake-to-budget factored in for both the 74 and 75 spots, Legion and The Crazies. The former pulled in 40 million over its 26 million dollar budget, with the latter hitting just under 40 million with a budget of 20.
There were plenty of other theatrical horror films that came out in 2010, but they, unfortunately, did jack shit when it came to nabbing any sort of audience. When I did this look back in 2009, the (higher end) horror box office had seven original films, three sequels and only two remakes. In 2010, we had three original films, five sequels (Predators being a sequel, in my correct opinion *wink-wink*) and three remakes. I can't say if it looks much better than it did last year as the remakes all didn't do the greatest, but there were a handful of original films that couldn't even make the cut in 2010. Sequels, on the other hand, may have showed just why they will always be a part of our lives, which is okay with me. Kind of. It'll be interesting to see what 2011 brings us (more sequels), and hopefully what it does bring is a few quality horror films for us to look back on in a year from now.