The Highest-Grossing Horror-Comedies of All Time
When supernatural beings or serial killers grace the silver screen, horror fanatics flock to theatres to get spooked. Over the years, scary films have become some of the biggest cult classics in cinema. But while original spine-tingling movies like “The Exorcist” and “Carrie” have generated millions at the box office, so have horror-comedies risen to take a bite out of the market.
While most horror-comedies share the same hallmarks — jump scares, murderous villains, lots of blood — as their bone-chilling counterparts, they balance the gore with enough comedic satire that’ll make any scaredy-cat moviegoer yearn for more.
If you don’t believe us, scroll below to find the top 20 highest-grossing horror-comedy movies worldwide.
20. ‘Little Shop of Horrors’
U.S. gross only: $38.9 million*
*All figures according to Box Office Mojo.
When a quiet flower shop owner (Rick Moranis) discovers a blood-thirsty plant and brings it into his shop, things turn deadly faster than you can say, “I'm just a mean green mother from outer space and I'm bad!”
While this horror-comedy is also considered a musical and wasn’t released beyond the U.S., it won the hearts of most horror fanatics within the country.
19. ‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’
U.S. gross only: $41.4 million
Six years after the release of the original Gremlins, “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” opened across America. This time, Gizmo gets himself in a bit of trouble after water accidentally falls on him, creating a small army of mogwais. This, in turn, causes chaos. While the sequel didn’t do as well as the original film, it’s still considered one of the highest-grossing horror comedies of all time.
18. ‘Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’
Worldwide gross: $48.3 million
Another sequel, another blockbuster, ”Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” is a horror-comedy you shouldn’t miss. Tyler Perry — director, actor, writer and producer of this film — plays Madea, who tries to save a young woman named Tiffany from a Halloween frat party when things turn supernatural.
Unfortunately, this film didn’t sit well with critics. Even though it brought in more than $48 million, the film also got nominated for three Razzies. Yikes.
U.S. gross only: $53.2 million
If you hate spiders, don’t watch this film. “Arachnophobia” highlights what would happen if a species of South American spiders decided to breed and kill in America. Thankfully, John Goodman and Jeff Daniels come to the rescue.
Frank Marshall’s — a long-time producer of Steven Spielberg's films — directorial debut racked up $53 million for Disney’s production label, Hollywood Pictures.
16. ‘A Haunted House’
Worldwide gross: $60.1 million
A young couple, Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) and Kisha (Essence Atkins), move into a new home, where Kisha becomes possessed by a demon. While they try to exorcise her, hilarity ensues.
This horror-comedy emulates previous infamous horror films, such as “Paranormal Activity,” and was written by Marlon Wayans and his co-writing partner, Rick Alvarez.
Worldwide gross: $61.5 million
When you think of Christmas, Santa Claus, reindeer and hot cocoa probably come to mind. What doesn’t come to mind? Krampus. Unfortunately for Max and his family, that’s exactly who appears in their life — a demonic villain. A horror film that brings the Christmas spirit? Sign us up.
14. ‘The Cabin in the Woods’
Worldwide gross: $66.4 million
This film is a cult classic for horror-comedy moviegoers. Not only was it written by “The Avengers” director, Joss Whedon, but it also stars the God of Thunder himself, Chris Hemsworth. While this movie involves the classic horror trope of a group of friends going to a remote and scary place, it turns the genre on its head with comedic chops that are hard to ignore.
13. ‘Boo! A Madea Halloween’
Worldwide gross: $74.8 million
Tyler Perry did it again. This time with the original “Boo! A Madea Halloween” movie. While this film didn’t win the hearts of critics, too, it ranked No. 1 at the box office during opening weekend, which gave Perry the green light to add a sequel in the already-popular Madea franchise.
12. ‘Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween’
Worldwide gross: $93.3 million
The children's books by R.L. Stine came to life for the second time in “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.” However, while the first film received positive reviews, the second...well, not so much. According to film critic Nell Minow, the sequel was “the cinematic equivalent of a fun-size candy bar.” Ouch.
Worldwide gross: $102.3 million
If there’s one horror-comedy you need to add to your movie list, it’s this one. Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and the rest of the squad smashed box offices with their bat-wielding, gun-shooting and anxiety-driven family dynamic. While it took 10 years for a sequel to be made, “Zombieland: Double Tap” is coming to theatres this month.
10. ‘Scary Movie 2’
Worldwide gross: $141.2 million
When you need a good laugh, watch “Scary Movie 2.” While the first one is a classic, this movie doesn’t miss the mark. Anna Faris and Marlon Wayans return to spoof some of your favorite spooky flicks. Plus, Tim Curry makes an appearance, so you know this horror-comedy film will hit a funny bone.
U.S. gross only: $153 million
What’s not to love about “Gremlins”? The movie is packed with cute (yet creepy) little creatures who shouldn’t get wet, be fed after midnight or be exposed to bright lights. The consequences are horrific. While this horror-comedy film is considered by some to be a Christmas movie, we highly suggest watching it before Halloween to get in the “holiday” spirit.
Worldwide gross: $158.2 million
If you grew up reading “Goosebumps” books by the legendary R. L. Stine, then you’re going to love watching this horror-comedy. This 2015 flick stars Jack Black, who plays the infamous author who goes through his own “Goosebumps” journey when the monsters from his books are accidentally released into the wild.
7. ‘Scary Movie 4’
Worldwide gross: $178.2 million
While this film isn’t as great as the earlier ”Scary Movie” movies, it still racked up over $100 million worldwide. It’s also the last movie in the franchise to feature the original cast. Even though producers thought it was a good idea to make “Scary Movie 5,” we recommend skipping it entirely.
6. ‘Ghostbusters 2’
Worldwide gross: $215.3 million
If you loved the first “Ghostbusters,” then you probably thoroughly enjoyed the sequel. Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and the rest of the team return to eliminate ghosts once again. Even though the sequel is a fan favorite, it didn’t perform as well as the original.
5. ‘Scary Movie 3’
Worldwide gross: $220.6 million
In the second-highest-grossing Scary Movie film in the franchise, Anna Faris comes back as Cindy to help the president fight off alien attacks. But rather than the film being led by the Wayan Brothers, this was directed by the Zucker Brothers. Not only did their perspective give new life to the franchise, but their directing abilities helped the movie become No. 1 during its opening weekend.
4. ‘Ghostbusters’ (2016)
Worldwide gross: $229.1 million
Even though the original Ghostbusters’ cast is a force to be reckoned with, genders were reversed in the 2016 version. Rather than Bill Murray and Harold Ramis returning to fight the supernatural, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and Kate McKinnon stepped up to the plate. Unfortunately, the movie wasn’t welcomed by original fans, but it was refreshing to see women not be afraid of no ghosts.
3. ‘Dark Shadows’
Worldwide gross: $245.5 million
Rather than returning to the silver screen as a swashbuckling pirate, Johnny Depp portrayed a bachelor-turned-vampire in “Dark Shadows.” While this ‘70s-inspired film was graced with Tim Burton’s directorial expertise, it was derided by film critics for being a flat and for an unmemorable story. Guess all Tim Burton movies aren’t winners.
2. ‘Scary Movie’
Worldwide gross: $278 million
When “Scary Movie” premiered, it was praised by critics and fans for being original, thought-provoking and hilarious. While the sequels never quite garnered the same enthusiasm among fans, it’s considered one of the best horror-comedy series ever made.
1. ‘Ghostbusters’ (1984)
Worldwide gross: $295.5 million
Who are you going to call the No. 1 horror-comedy movie of all time? “Ghostbusters,” duh. When this movie premiered in 1984, it sent kids into a frenzy because of its original plot, advanced sense of humor and jaw-dropping graphics. Thirty-five years later, the Ghostbusters are coming back to the big screen for another rendition of the story. This time, the son of one of the original writers, Jason Reitman, will have full creative control of the movie, which will open in 2020.