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Friday
Sep222017

Is IT about to pass The Exorcist as highest grossing horror film of all time? No.

Here is some fake news that really annoys me. Headlines abound that It is about to pass The Exorcist as the highest-grossing horror film of all time. It is a good movie and is certainly a huge success, but one can't compare 1970's dollars to this year's dollars. Adjusted for inflation, The Exorcist made almost 1 billion dollars at the US box office. It won't get to half that number, nor will it approach being the cultural phenomenon The Exorcist was both as a novel and a film.

For the record, here are the top 10 horror films of all time, US box office, adjusted for inflation (reflecting actual ticket sells, not cost of ticket, and excluding films that some might consider horror, but I did not--Ghost, the Jurassic movies, and Passion of the Christ). As I write this, It is at 215 million, IT should pass Alien, Amityville and maybe Psycho (which would be amazing in itself), but isn't tracking to pass Gremlins, which would make it the eighth highest grossing horror movie at the end of the run. I would say the cieling is just over 500 million, maybe passing The Sixth Sense, which would put it at an amazing fourth all-time, but still well behind Jaws and The Exorcist.  If anyone was wondering about foreign gross, the ranking would be about the same, just add around 50% to all of the numbers. It is very difficult to adjust the worldwide gross for inflation since a lot of the money from Europe and the rest of the world went into one big bucket back in the day. We just didn't get the kind of granular reporting we get now.

The Top Ten

Jaws (which is ahead of The Exorcist at 1.1 billion)
The Exorcist--983 million
Ghostbusters--632 million
The Sixth Sense--511 million
House of Wax--449 million
Young Frankenstein--405 million
Gremlins--404 million
Psycho--379 million
The Amityville Horror ('79)--306 million
Alien--279 million

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