Horror has been a bright spot on on the cinematic landscape over the last few years, with many films—some even originally destined for streaming—making it big at the box office.
No horror film released in 2023 has yet reached the highs of 2021’s top horror release, A Quiet Place: Part II ($160.2M), or 2022’s Nope ($123.2M)—but the year’s not over yet, and new entries in the Conjuring, Saw, and Exorcist franchises (plus Disney’s Haunted Mansion, out this weekend) will still hit theaters before the year is out. Here are the top five horror films of 2023 so far, ranked by domestic gross. Note: this article will be updated as the year goes on.
#1: Scream VI
Release Date: March 10
Opening Weekend: $44.4M
Domestic Total: $108.1M
Paramount fast-tracked production on a sixth installment of the Scream franchise after its immediate prequel—simply titled Scream—became a bright spot on the Q1 2022 calendar, opening to $30M in mid-January. Scream VI moved the action away from the franchise’s typical suburban setting, relocating Ghostface and the rest to New York City. With $108.1M, it earned:
- +32% above 2022’s Scream with $81.6M
- +4% above 1996’s original Scream with $103.0M
- +6% above 1997’s Scream 2 with $101.3M
Scream VI has the highest opening weekend ($44.4M) and highest overall gross of the series domestically, though adding in international grosses it comes in behind the original Scream and Scream 2.
Release Date: January 6
Opening Weekend: $30.4M
Domestic Total: $95M
This Blumhouse Productions title became a surprise hit for Universal, riding a wave of positive buzz to just shy of $100M in North America. Word of mouth was a big factor for this film; a clip from the trailer of the title character dancing earned instant meme status in the run-up to release and was later parodied on “Saturday Night Live.”
A $30.4M opening was followed by weeks of strong holds, culminating in a total $95M domestic cume for this piece of original horror IP. A sequel is slated for January 17, 2025.
#3: Insidious: The Red Door*
*still in theaters
Release Date: July 7
Opening Weekend: $33.0M
Domestic Total: $71.1M to date
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Ty Simpkins of the original Insidious return for the latest installment in the franchise, with first-time feature director Wilson in the director’s chair. Compared to the other films in the Insidious series, The Red Door‘s opening cume falls in the middle of the pack: higher than the debut weekends of the first ($13.2M) and third ($22.6M) entries, but trailing Insidious: Chapter 2‘s $40.2M bow.
#4: Evil Dead Rise
Release Date: April 21
Opening Weekend: $24.5M
Domestic Total: $67.2M
With Evil Dead Rise, Warner Bros. took in more box office than they had initially planned—approximately $67.2M more, given the film was initially slated to be a streaming-only release. Though its opening weekend came in -5% below 2013’s reboot of Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead, the running total for Rise overtook its predecessor starting on their respective sixth days, a sign of positive word of mouth. All told, Rise finished around +24% above its predecessor’s $54.2M total.
#5: The Boogeyman*
*still in theaters
20th Century Studios
Opening Weekend: $12.3M
Domestic Total: $43.2M to date
An adaptation of a Stephen King short story, The Boogeyman opened to an underwhelming $12.3M upon its release in early June; with $41.9M in its fifth week of release, it will end up below $50M. Compared to other Stephen King adaptations of the past decade, The Boogeyman is performing a bit better than 2019’s Doctor Sleep ($31.5M) and 2013 Carrie ($35.2M).