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TheStreet Open House

5 Reasons Halloween Isn't for Kids Anymore

Scary sells

Dreamworks Animation (DWA) might throw parents a Shrek Halloween special every so often, Laika likes to pitch out a seasonally appropriate story such as Paranorman or Coraline and even Disney (DIS) gave kids The Nightmare Before Christmas.

But you know what Hollywood really loves around Halloween? A movie kids under 13 can't go to. The Saw franchise made nearly $416 million by releasing seven films before Halloween from 2004 through 2010 -- all rated R. Adjusted for inflation, the entire Halloween series of slasher films brought in more than $600 million from pre-Halloween releases from 1978 through 2007. Again, it's an R-rated franchise.

The horror genre and its many incarnations have helped shift pop culture's Halloween sensibilities from the relatively harmless Universal monsters and cartoonish depictions of ghouls, ghosts and witches to a bloody, scream-filled chamber of fear. For roughly 35 years, it's paid off.

Since the release of the original Halloween in 1978, slasher films alone have made more than $2.3 billion in the U.S. alone, according to BoxOfficeMojo. That's not adjusting for inflation, either. Michael Meyers, Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and the creepy girls from The Ring and The Grudge have firmly planted their stake -- among other pointy, bloodied implements -- on Halloween, and they and their ilk are going to require parental guidance and dollars for the foreseeable future.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/notteham.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
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