Blumhouse is a tiny studio by most standards, but it’s been a big success. Following on the record box office of last month’s Halloween, the studio has now surpassed $4 billion at the global box office.
Blumhouse’s first wide release was the original Paranormal Activity movie in 2009. As Variety points out, the film cost all of $15,000 to make and grossed just short of $200 million around the world. Horror has continued to be the major focus for Blumhouse, as it’s the studio behind the Insidious and Sinister movies. It also has produced the Purge franchise.
There have been some exceptions, however. This year Blumhouse produced Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman and it was also the studio behind Whiplash, which won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for J.K. Simmons.
While the $4 billion milestone is certainly huge, the big thing to keep in mind regarding Blumhouse is that a lot more of that money is profit for the studio than it would be for your average producer. Blumhouse routinely keeps the budgets low, which means that when a movie doesn’t work at the box office, the cost is low, but when it does, the profits are substantial.
And for all the success that Blumhouse has had, there have certainly been some bombs as well. Blumhouse brought us Jem and the Holograms back in 2015. The movie did so poorly in theaters that the rare decision was made by distributor Universal to pull it from theaters early. Last year’s Amityville: The Awakening did over $7 million in business overseas, which helped make up for the fact that the domestic take for the film is officially listed as $742. No, I didn’t forget any zeroes.
Blumhouse really started to make waves last year with the one-two punch that was Get Out and Split. Both movies were released early in 2017, both were solid box office success. Get Out went on to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and win an Oscar for Best Screenplay for writer/director Jordan Peele. Split became something of a career resurgence moment for M.Night Shyamalan, who was able to go on to make a sequel in the upcoming Glass. Both films are also the two highest grossing movies from the studio worldwide, with the new Halloween following close behind.
With the upcoming release of Glass, a new film by Jordan Peele, and a likely sequel to the new Halloween on the way, it seems likely that Blumhouse success is only just beginning. It may have taken the studio nine years to make the first $4 billion, but it seems likely the next $4 billion will come much faster.
2019 will see Glass, Jordan Peele’s Us, as well as the sequel to Happy Death Day. That should make it a pretty good year for the studio, as they start work on their next billion.