Pop Goes The Monster: When Famous Movie Monsters Go Mainstream


Movie monsters have long been a staple of pop culture. From Dracula and Frankenstein to Godzilla and King Kong, these creatures have entertained and terrified audiences for decades. But what happens when these monsters go mainstream? With merchandising deals, spin-off movies, and even breakfast cereal tie-ins, some of the scariest monsters in movie history have become household names.

The Universal Monsters

The Universal Monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, are perhaps the most iconic of the movie monsters. These creatures have been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and even comic books. But it wasn’t until the 1980s that the Universal Monsters truly went mainstream.

In 1986, Universal Studios opened its first theme park. The park featured rides and attractions based on the studio’s most famous properties, including the Universal Monsters. Today, the Universal Monsters can be seen everywhere from Halloween decorations to t-shirts, proving that even the scariest monsters can go mainstream.


Godzilla is one of the most famous movie monsters of all time. The giant, fire-breathing lizard has been the subject of countless movies, TV shows, and comic books. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that Godzilla truly became a pop culture phenomenon.

In 1998, a new Godzilla movie was released, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Matthew Broderick. While the movie was a critical and commercial disappointment, it did pave the way for a new generation of Godzilla fans. Merchandising deals followed, with Godzilla appearing on everything from t-shirts to lunch boxes. In 2014, a new Godzilla movie was released, kickstarting a new era for the monster.

King Kong

King Kong is another iconic movie monster that has gone mainstream. The giant ape has starred in numerous movies, including the classic 1933 film. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that King Kong truly reached mass audiences.

In 1976, a new King Kong movie was released, starring Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges. The movie was a box office success and spawned a sequel, King Kong Lives. Merchandising deals soon followed, with King Kong appearing on everything from action figures to t-shirts.

In 2005, Peter Jackson directed a new King Kong movie, starring Naomi Watts and Adrien Brody. The movie was a critical and commercial success, cementing King Kong’s status as a pop culture icon.

The Alien Franchise

The Alien franchise, which includes the movies Alien and Aliens, is another example of a movie monster that has gone mainstream. The series, which features the iconic Xenomorph creature, has spawned numerous sequels and spin-off movies.

But it wasn’t until the 1990s that the Alien franchise truly went mainstream. In 1992, Alien 3 was released, followed by Alien Resurrection in 1997. The series also spawned a line of action figures, comic books, and even a video game. Today, the Alien franchise is still going strong, with a new movie and TV series in the works.

The Future of Movie Monsters

So, what’s next for the movie monsters of yesteryear? With reboots and remakes becoming increasingly popular in Hollywood, it’s likely that we’ll see more of these creatures in the years to come.

One example is the upcoming movie, The Invisible Man. The movie, which is based on the classic H.G. Wells novel, features a modern twist on the invisible man story. The movie stars Elisabeth Moss and is set to be released in 2020.

Another example is the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong movie. The movie, which pits two of the most iconic movie monsters against each other, is set to be released in 2020 and is sure to be a hit with fans.


Whether it’s Dracula, Godzilla, or the Alien Xenomorph, movie monsters have proven that they can go mainstream. From theme park rides to t-shirts, these creatures have become part of our collective pop culture consciousness. And with reboots and remakes in the works, it’s likely that we’ll continue to see these monsters on the big and small screen for years to come.