LOS ANGELES – The past couple years have been horrific for horror movies in Hollywood.
So far in 2015, not a single one of the 35 top-grossing films is a horror flick, and the same went for 2014.
In 2014, “Ouija” brought in $50 million domestically and “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” made a meager $14 million. In 2015, the “Poltergeist” remake brought in $47 million domestically while “Crimson Peak” brought in a paltry $16 million.
That’s a big departure from late ‘90s and 2000s, when movies like “The Blair Witch Project” grossed $140 million and “The Ring” made $129 million.
Pat Saperstein, deputy editor at Variety, said some popular TV shows could be behind horror movies' recent struggles.
“Before ‘The Blair Witch Project’ I think they were in a pretty slow period also, and then they came back really big, and they invented these new genres like torture movies with ‘Saw,’ and it kind of revitalized the whole genre and got people more interested in it for a while," Saperstein told FOX411. "But then the budgets started getting lower, and I think the focus shifted to TV in a lot of ways. ‘The Walking Dead’ is the biggest series on TV. A lot of the horror fans are watching that instead and not going to the theatres right now.”
“Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” is in theaters right now, and is fast-becoming the least successful flick in the franchise, bringing in just $8.2 million to date. The original “Paranormal Activity,” released in 2009, grossed $107 million domestically. But "Ghost Dimension" at least has a great excuse: Paramount’s deal with the AMC and Cineplex chains to shorten the run and make the film available on video on demand much sooner. As a result of this deal, many theater chains, including Regal and Cinemark, refused to show the film at all.
But don't pull the plug on the horror genre just yet. Saperstein said there is still hope for horror films. She suggested audiences’ lack of interest in scare flicks may not be permanent.
“I think they have gone out of style a little bit in the past few years, but that doesn’t mean that they might not come back sometime,” she explained.
Some of the classic horror films, like 1973’s “The Exorcist,” 1980's "The Shining" and the 1982 hit “Poltergeist,” are prime examples of how scare flicks can become cultural phenomenon. “The Exorcist” grossed $193 million domestically and “Poltergeist” grossed $76 million. "The Shining" only brought in $44 million --twice its budget-- but, along with the others, has entered the horror movie Hall of Fame, remaining relevant through countless parodies and pop culture references.
And director and producer of the horror movie “Condemned,” Eli Morgan Gesner, believes despite the recent box office numbers, the best days for the horror genre are still to come.
“I think specifically as of 2015, today, there has never been a time more technically easy to make a movie, and a horror movie,” he said. “Now there are so many horror fans—you can go online and buy horror movie makeup.”
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.