When it comes to horror films, what are the subjects that really bring in the crowds to the movie theater? From demonic possessions to ghosts, you’ll learn the backgrounds of the top grossing horror films of all time in the United States.
According to the “Book of Lists: Horror” by Amy Wallace, Del Howinson, and Scott Bradley, the top movies to bring in the most money at the box office was Jaws, The Exorcist, Jurassic Park, The Sixth Sense, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Ghost. We’ll focus on and highlight details of five out of the six:
1. Jaws (1975)
Adjusted Gross: $842,758,600
Unadjusted Gross: $260,000,000
Main Subject: Vicious shark attacks
Steven Spielberg directed the movie that made people extremely scared to go into the water without checking for fins in the area. The storyline for the movie came from a best-selling book by Peter Benchley. The small resort town of Amity has been chosen as the stomping grounds of a Great White Shark. While the town police chief wishes to close the beaches to keep tourists and residents safe, the town mayor does not want to scare off visitors.
In an attempt to rid the horrific beast from their town, a scientist, the police chief, and old fisherman join together to kill the shark.
Facts About Jaws
The movie won three Oscars: Best Film Editing, Best Original Score Music, and Best Sound. How could we forget the iconic theme music for when the shark was approaching his next victim? It was nominated for Best Picture, but did not win.
A scene thought too gruesome for the movie was cut out and released in the documentary titled, The Making of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jaws’ (1995), but does not appear as deleted footage or outtakes of the DVD. The scene showed the body of a bloody, dying man (who saved the life of the police chief’s son) being dragged on top of the water before being pulled underwater by the shark. Spielberg thought it was too bloody for the movie, and didn’t make the cut.
The author of the book that was made into the movie, Peter Benchley, wanted to have Robert Redford, Paul Newman, or Steve McQueen in ‘Jaws.’
The Amity Island that was used as the setting for the movie, was actually Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The sandy bottom was only 30 feet down, which allowed the mechanical shark to function in the water. Residents were given a chance to participate in the filming of the movie and were paid $64 to scream and run across the beach as extras.
The original scene that showed the death of Alex Kintner was so scary that it was cut to make sure that the movie received a PG rating. The scene called for a doll of Alex to float among the bathers. The shark would then jump out of the water.