Jason Blum and James Wan are some of the most beloved creatives in the horror industry. As the minds behind some of the biggest, scariest horror productions of the 21st century, Wan and Blum have worked independently for years to create cinematic masterpieces.
Recently, however, news broke that they were in talks for a proposed merger. Here’s what the consolidation between Blum’s Blumhouse Productions and Wan’s Atomic Monster means for horror fans.
Blumhouse and Atomic Monster are two of the most prolific horror movie productions in the world
Between them, Wan and Blum run two of the biggest horror production companies in the world today. Blum founded Blumhouse Productions in 2000. Soon the company became known for producing small-budget films and granting its directors creative freedom.
The company began its low-budget film model in 2007 with the highly successful film Paranormal Activity. Blumhouse made the movie with a $15,000 budget. But it grossed more than $193 million at the box office. It duplicated its success with Insidious after giving the movie a slightly bigger budget of $1.5 million.
Insidious was a success, earning $99 million at the box office. In 2021, Blumhouse gained more acclaim for its involvement in the Ethan Hawke film The Black Phone. It earned $161.2 million against an $18 million budget.
Wan’s Atomic Monster is much more recent, as it was launched in 2014. The company’s first projects include Annabelle and its sequels, The Conjuring 2, Lights Out and The Nun, all of which were box-office successes, despite their low budgets. Atomic Monster shares an almost similar model to Blumhouse by overseeing the development and production of budget movies.
More about the merger between James Wan and Jason Blum’s companies
On November 16, 2022, The New York Times reported that Wan and Blum were in talks to merge their production companies. According to Variety, Blumhouse has a first-look deal with Universal Studios, which the company will share with Wan’s Atomic Monster if the talks go through.
Atomic Monster recently closed its contract of nearly a decade with Warner Bros. The outlet notes that after the companies merge, they will continue to function as separate entities. This will allow each to maintain its creative autonomy and not lose its brand identity.
The idea behind the union, as Variety puts it, is to increase output from both companies and to further their reach into the horror genre, not only in the film industry but also in games and other forms of entertainment. The timing for the alliance is great as the horror industry has had a good year at the box office with gems like Scream, Halloween Ends, and Smile.
Combined, Wan and Blum’s companies have a total of $11 billion in box office gross. Blum’s movies have generated an impressive $5 billion worldwide box office gross. Wan follows closely with over $3.7 billion for his directorial efforts. The Conjuring gave him a great boost with its $2 billion box office gross.
Other horror production companies with successful filmography
BenderSpink was formed in 1998 by JC Spink and Chris Bender, with the former focusing on the management aspect of the business while the latter working on producing. The company was behind films like The Ring, The Butterfly Effect, A History of Violence, and outside horror, We’re The Millers. BenderSpink dissolved in 2016.
Roy Lee started Vertigo Entertainment after exiting BenderSpink in 2001. His company has overseen the production of films like The Grudge and its sequels, The Ring and Possession.
Platinum Dunes was founded in 2001 by Andrew Form, Michael Bay and Brad Fuller. The company is behind classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror, and Friday the 13th.
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