Arts & Entertainment

Building Blumhouse: A chat with Jason Blum

October 18, 2023

Building Blumhouse: A chat with Jason Blum

Jason Blum

Founder and CEO of Blumhouse,

With Halloween right around the corner, Willy Walker sits down with Jason Blum, founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions.

Jason Blum is a world-renowned, Academy Award-nominated, and Emmy Award-winning horror movie producer. He is also the CEO and Founder of Blumhouse Productions, a production company that has brought franchises like Halloween, Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Insidious, and Sinister to the big screen. Blumhouse is known for being one of the most profitable production companies in Hollywood, with its films generating a collective $5.7 billion at the box office. Just in time for Halloween, I had the chance to sit down with Jason and talk about everything from his journey in the media space to the formula for a great horror film.

How Blumhouse applied the “Moneyball” approach to film

For those who aren’t familiar with the film or the book Moneyball, it breaks down how the legendary Oakland A’s coach, Billy Beane, used statistics to create an incredibly low-budget team with tremendous results. Fortunately for Jason, this approach works in the film industry as well. He believes there are two core tenants of the Blumhouse business model that resemble the Moneyball approach.

In a world where studios are eager to court an up-and-coming director who has a short film or two with some buzz, Blumhouse prefers to work with seasoned directors who have a couple of feature-length films under their belt, with a 50/50 success-to-failure ratio. Secondly, at Blumhouse, when a film does well, everyone is paid well. This means that every single member of the cast and crew is incentivized to make the best movie they are capable of creating.

What makes Blumhouse different?

Although some say Blumhouse’s business model is easily replicable, few have come close to replicating it. Jason believes the reason no one can replicate the business model of Blumhouse is that there aren’t any other studios that are as hyper-focused as Blumhouse. At the end of the day, Blumhouse makes one type of film: horror. While making a certain type of film to chase an Oscar may seem very tantalizing, doing so doesn’t create a profitable business. Creating a very niche film studio is something that Blumhouse’s competitors simply aren’t willing to do, which is why Jason believes there won’t be another Blumhouse anytime soon.

The formula for a great horror film

For those who aren’t horror movie aficionados, it’s hard to say what makes a horror movie actually scary. While many believe that the big-moment scares are what makes a horror movie work, Jason believes that the setup for the scares is equally important. There needs to be a riveting buildup that keeps a viewer on the edge of their seat prior to a scare to make it really pop. Blumhouse has honed in on this and implements incredible build-up scenes in all of its films. This is what has made Blumhouse so successful in the horror genre.

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