Vampires, Slashers, Or Zombies: Opening Weekends Favorite Box Office Monster

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Neil Terry
Robert King
Robin Patterson


Critical Acclaim, Horror Movies, Movie Budget, Movie Revenue, Opening Weekend Box Office


This paper examines the determinants of opening weekend box office revenue of movies from the horror genre.  The sample consists of 225 films released during 1978-2010.  Regression results indicate the primary determinants of opening weekend box office revenue for horror movies are number of theatres showing the movie during the opening weekend of release, holiday release, critical rating, sequels, restricted rating, production budget, and theme.  Specific results include the observation that within the horror movie genre, the vampire and slasher themes add approximately four to eleven million dollars to opening weekend box office revenue, while the comedic theme stalls at the box office with earnings totaling as much as four million dollars less than other movies in the genre.  Nudity and the zombie theme are not statistically significant determinants.


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