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Article on Huge Success of Horror Films Raises Funds for a Horror Film
Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D. -- Author of Fifty Books Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D., J.D. -- Author of Fifty Books
Lafayette, CA
Saturday, December 4, 2021

Experiencing a Horror Film

            Since horror movies have been so successful, including low-budget indie features, two companies which co-produced 18 low-budget features and documentaries are using an article showing the huge box office return horror films to help raise fund for its first horror film.  The article explains all the reasons that people love to be scared at horror films and show the huge success of low-budget horror films over the past decade. This way investors understand the appeal of horror films and see the great potential of participating in the first in a series of low-budget horror films with a unique twist.  In fact, despite or because of the pandemic, horror films continue their popular appeal.             

               As the article explains, even in the face of real-life horrors, indie filmmakers have been able to create runaway hits despite a tiny budget, because it doesn't take much money to create an exciting experience of fear. Then, a horror film creates a pleasurable rush for attendees through exploring their fears in a controlled and safe environment.

            Why can fear become so pleasurable? And how has a small budget of $50,000 or less led to some multi-million-dollar success stories?  Here are some highlights from the article, which can be read in full on Medium at: https://tinyurl.com/m33dsffh

            First, to answer the reason of why fear has become so pleasurable, the article cites the findings of several psychologists about the reasons why we love being scared.  Among some of these findings:

  • Horror movie fans like the experience of being scared, because that helps them feel a sense of mastery or control over their fears when they watch the film from the safety of their home or a movie theater. 
  • We often feel pleasure after watching a horror film, because we feel a sense of relief, due to the release of dopamine, because the body reacts as it would in a real-life fear inducing situation, so one feels excited and then relaxes after the fear is mastered or subsides.
  • Many viewers of horror films experience a euphoria that helps them cope with other stressors they subsequently feel, since the film takes us away from real fears and anxieties one might feel about what's happening in the everyday world.
  • Also, a horror film triggers our fight-or-flight response due to fear, but we can feel the rush without worrying about our own safet, because we know nothing will hurt us.  
  • Seeing a horror film might be a safe way to express one's feelings of aggression and attraction to violence.
  • Another reason for the appeal of horror movies is that viewers are drawn to sensation seeking; they like thrills and adventure seeking, and they get that from a horror film.
  • Today horror films are especially relevant, since in playing with fear, we may learn important lessons about the dangers of the world as well as our own responses to danger and may become more resilient in the process.

            Given all these reasons for enjoying horror films, it's no wonder that they are such a successful box office genre and why they provide such a great opportunity for independent film companies to produce them on a low budget.  That's what the article explains next, with examples of very successful low-budget horror films.

            The history of these films for the past decade shows this, since the returns on investment show that horror films of all budgets make a much better return than any other films.  It's a result that has occurred for over a decade.  For example, in a report on the top 100 movies with the best return on investment between 2010 and 2015, 13 out of the top 30 films with the best ROI were horror films. While the top five horror films had an ROI of around 2000%, the top comedy films only had an ROI of around 1200%. 

           In another study of Box Office Returns from 2013 to 2018, the average ROI for the top-five grossing movies of the past six years, such as Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Mission Impossible: Fallout, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi was between 365% to 760%, with an average return of five times one's budget. By contrast, the ROI for a film from Blumhouse Productions, which specializes in horror films, was 1285% for The Conjuring Series, 1265% for The Purge series, 1985% for the Insidious series, and even more for the Paranormal Activity series -- a 4405% return.

           The article points out that the first Paranormal Activity film shot in 2007 had a budget of only $15,000 and earned $193 million at the box office, an ROI of 1,289,039%.

            Finally, the article cites other horror films with small budgets that have made huge scores at the box office.  Though none of these budgets have been as low as $15,000, Host, released in March 2020 by Shadowbox Films with a $50,000 budget, made $248 million - a 496 times return.  The Wretched, released in May 2020 by IFC with a budget of $66,000, brought in $4.59 million - a nearly 70 times return, as reported Sarah Whitten in an August 30, 2021 CNBC Article "Even During the Pandemic, Horror Movies Remain One of the Most Profitable Genres at the Box Office".  Most notably, Host and The Wretched were released when most movie theaters were shuttered, and most of their revenue came from drive-ins.

            Why have these films done so well when their budgets are so much lower than the typical Hollywood film with budgets of $100 million or more. Perhaps a key reason that these films do so well with minimal budgets is they don't rely on big stars which drive up costs into multi-millions of dollars. These films also don't have large casts and multiple locations which result in massive budget increases, due to the costs for travel, housing, set-ups, additional days for shooting, and more.  Instead, the winning formula for a  horror film typically involves a few friends in a small number of locations, plus some characters for the ghosts or monsters they encounter.  Thus, a low-budget horror film can be shot in a week or two and go on to reap massive rewards.

            Now using the article's evidence to show why horror films are so popular and why they make so much money, the companies plan to show investors the potential for participating in their new series of low-budget horror films with a unique twist that have an excellent chance to make a huge return while giving viewers a good enjoyable scare.


The author is internationally published author and film producer, Gini Graham Scott, PhD, who has published over 200 books, 50 for traditional publishers and 150 for her own company Changemakers Publishing, specializing in books on self-help, popular business, and social issues. She is the author of The Big Con: Scams Targeting Writers, the Victims, and How to Avoid Becoming a Victim and I Was Scammed about all types of scams and how to avoid them. She has written and executive produced 18 feature films and documentaries, featured on the www.changemakersproductionsfilms.com website.  An inspiration for this article is that Changemakers Productions is now raising money for its first horror film Dark Cabin, which features 6 friends on a vacation up against Viking ghosts. It's filming in the New York area in February 2022, and other horror films are planned.   She also writes books and scripts for clients.  Her website for writing is at www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com.

            For more information or to set up an interview, contact:

Karen Andrews

Executive Assistant to Gini Graham Scott

Changemakers Publishing and Writing

Lafayette, CA 94549 . (925) 385-0608 



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