Jason Blum

As the studio hits $4 billion, Blumhouse hones its approach to sequels

Contributed by
Nov 8, 2018

It's been another amazing year for Blumhouse, the horror production company that broke through in a massive way with Paranormal Activity nearly a decade ago.

After triumphs in 2017 like the runaway box office success of Jordan Peele's Get Out, Jason Blum's company wil come away from 2018 with Get Out's awards season love (including an Oscar for Peele's screenplay) and, most recently, the massive success of Halloween, the critically acclaimed sequel to John Carpenter's original classic that set box office records and reminded the world why Jamie Lee Curtis is one of cinema's greatest scream queens.

The success of Halloween was enough to hit a major box office milestone for Blumhouse. Variety reports that the company is now responsible for more than $4 billion in box office revenue throughout its history, and Blum has no plans to slow down now. In addition to sequels to existing franchises, the studio has numerous projects on the way, including Todd McFarlane's big-screen reboot of Spawn, and it's all being done through Blum's model of keeping budgets low while offering up as much creative originality as possible. 

"The major way was we cut below the line costs. Directors and actors are all paid scale minimum, and then they participate," Blum said of his business model. "We’ve had the luck of making a lot of successful movies and giving a lot of people a lot of checks. Word travels fast in Hollywood, so now we have a lot easier time getting people to work for our model. If the movie works, you wind up making a lot more than you would have if you took the money upfront."

That model has clearly proven to be a working formula. What began with the $15,000 Paranormal Activity in 2009 has now translated into one of the most respect genre production houses in Hollywood, and that gives Blum a lot of options for the future of his company. Among those options is the chance to make sequels to previous Blumhouse hits, and though there are definitely dollar signs in that direction, Blum has made it clear that he only wants to tell the next story if the right creators are along for the ride. To that end, Halloween sequel is in the cards, but Blum wants the creative team back, and a Get Out sequel will only happen "if Jordan Peele came up with an idea."

"To me, sharing the spoils with the people who created the first movie is the secret. People struggle with sequels because often, they want to take the money and run. They want to hire new people and not pay them so much money," Blum said. "On our sequels, I make a huge effort to involve the original creators. So James DeMonaco has done every Purge movie. [Creator] Leigh [Wahannell] and [director] James [Wan] have worked on every Insidious movie. If we do another Halloween movie, we’re certainly going to work very hard to get David Gordon Green back. That, and continuing to keep the budgets very low so we can keep doing new things."

So with $4 billion down nearly a decade after its breakout film, Blumhouse sees $4 billion more ahead, but its founder is definitely not ready to give up the original approach.

 

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