Horror Facts

Smile All The Way: Highest Grossing Horror Movies Of 2022

2022 was a very positive year for horror cinema. Although we can argue about the quality parameter – and, by the way, I think that the last year was successful compared to previous years – it cannot be ignored that there were some impressive successes at the box office. One possible explanation is that horror movies are suitable for watching on the big screen, with a few more viewers who scream, laugh, make noise, and so on. The reason that many horror films appeal to teenagers and young adults, an audience that still makes sure to go to the cinemas as a social pastime, contributes to this.

So what is the highest grossing horror movie in 2022? To answer this question, we carried out a test on two levels: the first is a global success, that is, in all the countries where the film was screened. The second benchmark for comparison is the box office achievements in the United States and Canada. The findings are quite interesting, with a lot of reasons to smile.

The Highest-Grossing Horror Movie 2022: “Smile”

First of all, there were some very impressive successes in the horror sector in 2022. There is no doubt that the most successful film is “Smile”, which has so far grossed over 216 million dollars worldwide – what’s more, its budget is relatively small (about 17 million dollars). Jordan Peele’s “Nope” came in second, with over $171 million worldwide. The film, which deals with an alien invasion of a small town in California, was already produced with a budget roughly four times higher. Later we will return to the even more impressive achievement of “Nope” in the American arena.

The third place was reached by “The Black Phone”, with Eitan Hook, who received revenues of approximately 161 million dollars. The fifth film in question (and rather disappointing) in the “Scream” franchise is in fourth place, with approximately 140 million dollars. We all hope that the sixth film, which will come soon, will be more successful. Another sequel that did not meet the expectations of most slasher fans is “Halloween: The End”, but at least it did well at the box office. It stands in fifth place with approximately $104 million in worldwide earnings.

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In the top 10, you will also find “The Menu”, “Beast”, “Barbarian”, “Prey For The Devil” and “Orphan: First Kill. Two of the more impressive films are in the for the simple reason that they were produced on a ridiculous budget: Ti West’s “X” (about a million dollars) and Damien Leone’s “Terrifier 2”, which was distributed mainly in a relatively small number of theaters in the United States. Following the success, New film franchises were born. The “X” trilogy already included “Pearl”, which was distributed only in the United States and grossed a handsome amount. Later, “MaXXXine” is also expected – all of them, of course, starring Mia Goth, in a double role and in three timelines. A little After the success of Terrifier 2, which established the status of one of the creepiest horror characters in recent years, a third film was announced.

Top 15 Highest Grossing Horror Movies 2022, worldwide

# Film Budget (Estimated) Worldwide Gross
1 Smile (2022) $17,000,000 $216,135,048
2 Nope (2022) $68,000,000 $171,235,592
3 The Black Phone (2022) $16,000,000 $161,440,742
4 Scream (2022) $24,000,000 $140,041,405
5 Halloween Ends (2022) $33,000,000 $104,186,860
6 The Menu (2022) $30,000,000 $78,829,286
7 Beast (2022) $36,000,000 $59,095,809
8 Barbarian (2022) $4,500,000 $45,352,337
9 Prey For The Devil (2022) Unknown $44,479,868
10 Orphan: First Kill (2022) $10,000,000 $37,083,743
11 The Invitation (2022) $10,000,000 $33,700,080
12 Firestarter (2022) $12,000,000 $15,039,250
13 X (2022) $1,000,000 $14,779,858
14 Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) unknown $13,929,998
15 Terrifier 2 (2022) $250,000 $13,489,079

Is “Smile” The Most Successful Horror Film In The United States? Nope!

As in every year, and similar to other genres, also in the horror sector of 2022 there are certain differences between the numbers at the box office around the world and the film grossing in the United States and Canada. Here, you can see a reversal at the top when first place is taken by “Nope”, which succeeded big in the US: 72% of the film’s grossing came from the United States and Canada.

It could be that the reason for this is that Jordan Peele, who is known to deal in his films with the burning racial issues in the United States and discrimination against blacks, speaks very much to the American audience. “Smile” stands in second place, with approximately 106,000 million dollars, which, as mentioned, did not prevent it from being the most profitable film worldwide.

If you look at the list of the highest-grossing horror films of 2022, you find that in most cases the achievements at the box office in the United States are quite in line with what is happening across the globe.

Top 15 Highest Grossing Horror Movies 2022, US & Canada

# Film Budget (estimated) US Gross
1 Nope (2022) $68,000,000 $123,277,080
2 Smile (2022) $17,000,000 $105,935,048
3 The Black Phone (2022) $16,000,000 $90,123,230
4 Scream (2022) $24,000,000 $81,641,405
5 Halloween Ends (2022) $33,000,000 $64,079,860
6 Barbarian (2022) $4,500,000 $40,842,944
7 The Menu (2022) $30,000,000 $38,416,599
8 Beast (2022) $36,000,000 $31,846,530
9 The Invitation (2022) $10,000,000 $25,100,080
10 Prey For The Devil (2022) unknown $19,802,293
11 X (2022) $1,000,000 $11,765,309
12 Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022) unknown $11,446,602
13 Terrifier 2 (2022) $250,000 $10,640,105
14 Firestarter (2022) $12,000,000 $9,739,250
15 Pearl (2022) $1,000,000 $9,423,445

What’s Not On The List?

A small note before we finish: In the review, we refer to proper horror films, and not to films with certain touches of horror: that’s why we didn’t include here, for example, “Don’t worry Darling” or the last film in the “Jurassic Park” franchise.

In addition, we did not include here “M3gan”, which was produced in 2022, because almost all over the world it reached the screens only at the beginning of January. We do not doubt that this successful film, which added perhaps another iconic doll to the list of horror cinema dolls, will star in the list of 2023 horror genre blockbusters.

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