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5 classic horrors that earned 100x their budget

The gems of this genre were not only loved, but also commercially successful.

Horrors are clearly one of the most demanded movie genres as people love to have their nerves shaken by the scary stories. However, we dare say you didn’t know that these horror gems were so successful at the box office that they earned 100 times their budget.

Here are 5 such hits from the genre, now available online for streaming.


1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Where to watch: Prime

First comes one of the most influential horror films, as it is the origin of both modern slashers and found footage films. It follows a group of young people who fall victim to a family of cannibals on their way to an old homestead, and was such a smash at the time that it made $30.9 million against a budget estimated between $80,000 and $140,000.

2. Halloween (1978)

Where to watch: Prime, AppleTV+

John Carpenter’s slasher, which earned a full $70 million worldwide, focused on a mental patient, Michael Myers, who was accused of killing his sister on Halloween night when he was a child. Later, he escapes from psychiatry and returns to his hometown with an idea to carry out his bloody revenge, promising a nerve-wracking rollercoaster of a movie.

3. Friday the 13th (1980)

Where to watch: Prime, Hulu

Following the trends of the previous films, the classic $60 million horror film tells a story about teen camp counselors trying to reopen an abandoned summer camp with a tragic past. However, their mission will likely never end as they are murdered one by one by a mysterious killer, to the growing horror of the audience.

4. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Where to watch: Netflix , Hulu

The found footage film trope reaches its apotheosis here, as we follow three student filmmakers who head into the hills to film a documentary about an infamous local myth known as the Blair Witch. It was a sensation of its time, grossing $248.6 million worldwide on a budget of less than $1 million and receiving exceptional critical acclaim.

5. Paranormal Activity (2007)

Where to watch: Prime, Hulu

James Blum, the producer of horror franchises such as Insidious (2010–2023), The Purge (2013–2021) and Halloween (2018–2022), also created this chilling film series, which started 17 years ago to great success. It focused on a young couple who are tormented by supernatural beings living in their new home. The film earned $194.2 million against a total budget of $230,000, allowing Blum to continue the franchise.