- The production company Blumhouse’s latest movie, "Ma," opened over the weekend with $18 million. It was made for $5 million.
- Blumhouse specializes in making small-budget movies, especially ones in the horror genre, that make big bucks at the box office.
- Other recent examples include Jordan Peele’s breakout horror hit, "Get Out," and last year’s "Halloween."
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The production company Blumhouse Productions is no stranger to box-office success.
Its latest movie, "Ma," starring Octavia Spencer in her first lead role, opened over the weekend with $18 million. It was made for $5 million, so it’s already greatly surpassed its production budget.
That’s what Blumhouse does best: make low-budget movies, particularly in the horror genre, that score a substantial profit. It’s the studio behind Jordan Peele’s breakout, "Get Out," and last year’s "Halloween," and it launched the "Paranormal Activity" and "Purge" franchises.
But it’s also found success outside of horror with films that have caught the attention of the Oscars. It produced Damien Chazelle’s "Whiplash" in 2014, which won J.K. Simmons a supporting-actor Oscar and was nominated for best picture. It also made Spike Lee’s "BlacKkKlansman," which won Lee his first competitive Oscar this year for screenwriting and was also nominated for best picture.
The company signed a first-look deal with Universal to distribute its movies in 2014, and its founder, Jason Blum, is one of the hottest producers in Hollywood. In an interview with Business Insider in April, Blum said that the goal of Blumhouse was "to be independent so we can tell stories we want to tell without asking permission."
He added, "the more independent we are, the more that decision making has allowed us to flourish."
To understand just how much it’s flourished, below are 10 Blumhouse movies that prove that its low-budget horror strategy is working at the box office.
2007: "Paranormal Activity"
Worldwide gross: $274 million
You read that right. The first "Paranormal Activity" was made for just $15,000 and grossed $274 million globally, paving the way for Blumhouse’s eventual Hollywood domination. It was the studio’s first real hit, and spawned five sequels. The franchise has grossed over $970 million combined over six movies whose budgets never exceeded $10 million.
2013: "The Purge"
Worldwide gross: $89 million
Budget: $3 million
Over the course of four entries, the "Purge" movies — about one night a year when all crime is legal — have made over $450 million globally combined, and each installment has made more than the last. A spin-off TV series, "The Purge," debuted on the USA network last year, and a second season is in the works.
2013: "Insidious: Chapter 2"
Worldwide gross: $162 million
Budget: $5 million
James Wan’s first "Insidious" movie, which was released in 2011, was made for $1.5 million and made $97 million. Its 2013 sequel was a bigger hit, making $162 million off of a $5 million budget. Two more movies have followed, "Insidious: Chapter 3" in 2015 and "Insidious: The Last Key" last year. "The Last Key" was the highest-grossing movie in the franchise, with $168 million worldwide.
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