might throw parents a Shrek Halloween special every so often,
likes to pitch out a seasonally appropriate story such as
The Nightmare Before Christmas
But you know what Hollywood really loves around Halloween? A movie kids under 13 can't go to. The
franchise made nearly $416 million by releasing seven films before Halloween from 2004 through 2010 -- all rated R. Adjusted for inflation, the entire
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
in 1978, slasher films alone have made more than $2.3 billion in the U.S. alone, according to
. That's not adjusting for inflation, either. Michael Meyers, Freddy, Jason, Leatherface and the creepy girls from
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.
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