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Modern Thriller and Suspense Box Office Hits: 10 Films That Made the Most Money

Image: Modern Thriller and Suspense Box Office Hits: 10 Films That Made the Most Money
The Dark Knight Rises, 2012. (imdb.com)

By    |   Saturday, 25 Apr 2015 10:31 AM

The names Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan pop up often when it comes to thriller and suspense box office hits. Four of today’s top 10 blockbusters in the genre were released before 2000, and two were either directed or produced by Spielberg; while Nolan's films came in 2010 and 2012, respectively. The top 10 thriller-suspense films grossed totals ranging from just under $240 million to almost $450 million.

1. "The Dark Knight Rises"

Directed by Christopher Nolan, "The Dark Knight Rises" is the final installment of the filmmaker's "Batman" franchise. In the movie, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) comes out from hiding to once again help the city of Gotham. "The Dark Knight Rises" was released in July of 2012, grossing $448 million in the U.S., making it the No. 1 film at the modern thriller and suspense genre box office, according to IMDb.com.

2. "Jurassic Park"

"Jurassic Park" was the highest-grossing movie in the world from its release in 1993 to the release of "Titanic" in 1997. According to critic review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the movie follows a billionaire who invites two scientists to preview his new amusement park, which features live dinosaurs cloned from the DNA of prehistoric insects. The movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and grossed $402 million in the U.S.

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3. "Skyfall"

The 23rd James Bond movie produced by Eons Productions, "Skyfall" centers around a terrorist attack on the British Intelligence Agency MI6. Released first in London and eventually in the U.S., the 2012 thriller, starring Daniel Craig as Bond, grossed $304 million in the U.S. and according to IMDb.com, won two Academy Awards, and two BAFTA awards.

4. "The Sixth Sense"

"The Sixth Sense" grossed $294 million in the U.S. and was nominated for six Academy Awards. The movie is about a boy (Haley Joel Osment) who is able to see and talk to the dead, and a psychologist (Bruce Willis) who tries to help him. According to Esquire, the movie’s twist ending has never been surpassed. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, "The Sixth Sense" was released in 1999.

5. "Inception"

Christopher Nolan’s "Inception" is a movie about a thief who commits crimes by penetrating the subconscious of his victims. Released in 2010, it grossed $293 million in the U.S. "Inception" was also nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four, according to IMDb.com.

6. "Gravity"

The most recent addition to the list of highest-grossing thrillers and suspense films is "Gravity," a 2013 film directed by Alfonso Cuarón. In "Gravity," a routine shuttle mission goes wrong, stranding two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) in the depths of space. The movie grossed $274 million, and Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an unusually high score of 97 percent.

7. "Jaws"

Director Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller follows the story of a giant shark that attacks beachgoers in a summer resort town. Until the release of "Star Wars" in 1977, "Jaws" held the distinction of the highest-grossing movie of all time (it grossed $260 million in the U.S.), according to Box Office Mojo.

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8. "I Am Legend"

Grossing $256 million in the U.S., "I Am Legend" is a 2007 horror-suspense film that follows a scientist (Will Smith) who is a immune to a genetically-altered virus that was intended to be a cure for cancer. The film was directed by Francis Lawrence, and according to Box Office Mojo, set a record for the highest-grossing opening for a December-released film.

9. "Twister"

Produced by Steven Spielberg, this 1996 drama-thriller grossed $242 million in the U.S. The movie follows two storm chasers (Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton) on the verge of ending their marriage as they try to create an instrument to record tornado data. The New Republic, via Metacritic, praises the film’s intense special effects and storm imagery.

10. "Fast and Furious 6"

Released in May of 2013, "Fast and Furious 6" was directed by Justin Lin and centers around a criminal gang who remain fugitives despite having gone into retirement. It grossed $239 million in the U.S. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote via Metacritic that this sixth installment was the best of the series; "Fast and Furious 6" is only the second movie of the series to end in a cliffhanger.

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The names Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan pop up often when it comes to modern thriller and suspense box office hits. Four of today's top 10 blockbusters in the genre were released before 2000, and two were either directed or produced by Spielberg.
modern, thriller, suspense, box office, movies, films
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