15. Paranormal Activity 4

Estimated Profit: $118m (budget: $5m + marketing, gross: $129m)

What went right? Having a franchise that relies more on scares you can't see than the ones you can makes for an eminently profitable series. The fourth outing didn't deviate from the tried and tested terrifying formula (doors slamming, invisible groping, child possession). Some niftily placed product placement (thanks Xbox) helped balance the ledgers, too.

Photo by Paramount Pictures Dec 20, 2012


In Hollywood, there’s only one barometer of success, and it’s certainly not good reviews. Money-making is king of course, with cigar-munching studio bosses always on the lookout for projects that make their budgets back many times over. Like this little lot, some of 2012’s highest grossing movies.

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