Horror filmmakers Jason Blum and James Wan are in advanced talks to merge their companies, Blumhouse Productions and Atomic Monster, into a big house of chills and thrills.
Blumhouse, known for its low-budget approach to horror, is currently on the first look with Universal, which would expand to Atomic Monster as soon as the deal closes. Wan’s first deal ended with Warner Bros. earlier this year after almost a decade.
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Thanks to the success of skin-crawling franchises like “Halloween,” “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge,” Blumhouse films have generated at least $5 billion at the worldwide box office. Wan, whose films have earned more than $3.7 billion worldwide as a director, is the creative mastermind behind “The Conjuring” and “Saw” series. As of 2004, Wan and Blumhouse have a box office gross of $11.6 billion.
“We really complement each other, yin and yang, which is part of what makes it so exciting,” Wan told The New York Times, which first reported news of the potential union.
When the companies are able to come together, the joint venture will feature a series of chilling murders, such as “Annabelle,” “The Nun,” “Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge” and “Happy Death Day.” And beyond the franchise fare, the two production houses have backed invisible films like “The Invisible Man,” “Get Out,” “The Black Phone,” “Malignant” and “Mortal Kombat.”
Following the merger, the parties expect that Atomic Monster and Blumhouse will continue to operate as separate labels, each retaining its own creative independence and brand identity. Atomic Monster hopes to leverage Blumhouse’s existing infrastructure to further scale their activities in the areas of film, television and new content. The idea behind the alliance is to increase output from all sides. They also hope to expand into horror games, live and audio entertainment.
And the timing couldn’t be better. At the box office, it was a scary year for horror with “Scream,” “Terrifier 2,” “Smile,” “Barbarian” and “Halloween” all doing well. Those films managed to defy expectations while films of other genres – namely comedies, dramas and anything not involving superheroes or horror – struggled to bring in audiences.
Blumhouse and Atomic Monsters have already collaborated on the upcoming film “M3gan,” a mystery thriller about artificial intelligence dolls. Her killer dance moves instantly went viral when the first trailer debuted online earlier this fall. Universal is releasing the film on January 6, 2023.
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