HIGHEST-GROSSING SUSPENSE-THRILLER FILMS OF ALL TIME: ANALYSIS OF THE TOP 25


Suspense-thriller films are one of the most-watched genres, as viewers always want nerve-racking and heart-pounding scenes that keep them on their toes. So with that, here are the top 25 highest-grossing suspense-thriller films of all time, as revealed by the-numbers.com, and some interesting facts about them. 


Table of Contents


RankYear ReleasedMovie TitleWorldwide Box Office
12019Joker$1,072,507,517
22006The Da Vinci Code$767,820,459
32014The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1$766,575,131
42010Inception$728,582,465
52013Gravity$689,742,192
62012The Hunger Games$677,923,379
71999The Sixth Sense$672,806,292
82015The Martian$655,111,538
92015The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2$648,986,787
102009Angels & Demons$490,875,846
112001Ocean’s Eleven$450,728,529
122007The Bourne Ultimatum$444,043,396
131992The Bodyguard$410,945,720
142002Signs$408,250,578
152012Prometheus$402,448,265
162012Taken 2$377,807,404
172019Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood$377,562,039
182014Gone Girl$367,160,781
1920191917$366,890,181
201993The Fugitive$353,715,317
211992Basic Instinct$352,700,000
222013Now You See Me$342,769,200
232010Black Swan$331,266,710
242016Now You See Me 2$328,325,007
251995Se7en$328,125,643

The Highest-grossing Suspense-thriller Film of All Time

Joker – Image Source: IMDb

With a worldwide box office of $1,072,507,517, Joker lands on the top spot on our list. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck/Joker, this movie earned $335,451,311 in the domestic box office and $737,056,206 in the international box office. It made 19.5 times its production budget of $55,000,000! Joker was released in 2019 in over 4,000 theaters and even earned $52,363,380 in domestic video sales. It also ranked as the Number 1 All-Time Worldwide Box Office for R Movies and Rank 15 at DEG Watched At Home Top 20 Charts on March 2020. 


According to Year Released

Five out of 25 movies on our list were released in the ’90s. The Bodyguard and Basic Instinct were the earliest released, both in 1992 and The Fugitive in 1993. Se7en, starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, was released in 1995, while The Sixth Sense was in 1999. Others were also released in early 2000, including Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Signs (2002), The Da Vinci Code (2006), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), and Angels & Demons (2009). The latest suspense-thriller films with the highest earnings are Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, 1917, and Joker – all released in 2019.


Biggest Production Budget

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 and Inception both had a production budget of $160,000,000, which is the biggest production budget among the films on our list. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 earned 4.1 times its production budget while Inception had 4.6 times, landing them on the 9th and 4th spot, respectively. Next to it is Angels & Demons with a $150,000,000 production budget and earned 3.3 times, which is around $490 million. On the other hand, Black Swan on the 23rd spot had the lowest production budget of $13,000,000 but earned 25.5 times of it, approximately $331,266,710.


Highest-grossing Suspense-thriller Films that are part of a Franchise

Twelve out of 25 movies on our list are part of a franchise. Three of which are from The Hunger Games film franchise – The Hunger Games, Mockingjay – Part 1, and Part 2. The Hunger Games is the 21st-highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over US$2.97 billion worldwide, as per Wikipedia

Joker is also part of the Batman franchise, with it being the second highest-grossing Batman movie after The Dark Knight Rises, according to the-numbers.com. Other film franchises on our list are The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Now You See Me, and Now You See Me 2, Ocean’s Eleven, The Bourne Ultimatum, Fugitive, and Basic Instinct


Highest-grossing Suspense-thriller Films and their Sources

Most of the films on our top 25 list are original screenplays. Joker is the only comic-based film, while Ocean’s Eleven is the only remake. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is based on real-life events of Hollywood stars during the 1960s. Similarly, The Fugitive is based on the 1960s TV series The Fugitive. Finally, eight suspense-thriller films are based on fiction books, including The Hunger Games series, Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, The Martian, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Gone Girl


MPAA ratings

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) regulates the appropriateness of content for children and teenagers. Nine out of 25 films are Rated R (Restricted), which means audiences under 17 years of age requires accompanying parent or adult guardian, as it includes adult themes, while sixteen out of 25 are rated PG-13. Rated R movies on our list include Joker, The Bodyguard, Prometheus, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Gone Girl, 1917, Basic Instinct, Black Swan, and Se7en.


Highest Domestic Video Sales

The Hunger Games had the highest domestic video sales of $226,054,204, followed by Inception with $167,137,217. The Bourne Ultimatum and The Da Vinci Code are in third and fourth rank on highest domestic video sales with $127,244,587 and $102,722,460. These four films are the only ones with over $100 million domestic video sales among our top 25 list.


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References:

https://www.the-numbers.com/box-office-records/worldwide/all-movies/genres/thriller-or-suspense

https://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/Batman#tab=summary

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunger_Games_(film_series)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_Picture_Association_film_rating_system

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fugitive_(1963_TV_series)

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