Jason Blum and James Wan are in advanced talks to merge their companies, Blumhouse Productions and Atomic Monster, into a mega house of chills and thrills.
Blumhouse, known for its low-budget approach to terror, is currently under a first look deal with Universal, which would extend to Atomic Monster as long as the deal closes. Wan’s first-look deal with Warner Bros. ended earlier this year after nearly a decade.
Thanks to the success of skin-crawling franchises such as “Halloween,” “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge,” Blumhouse movies have generated at least $5 billion at the worldwide box office. Wan, whose films as a director have earned more than $3.7 billion globally, is the creative mastermind behind “The Conjuring” and “Saw” series. Since 2004, Wan and Blumhouse have a combined box office of $11.6 billion.
Once the companies are able to combine, the joint venture will be home to a murders’ row of chilling properties, such as “Annabelle,” “The Nun,” “Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge” and “Happy Death Day.” And beyond franchise fare, the two production houses have backed buzzy films like “The Invisible Man,” “Get Out,” “The Black Phone,” “Malignant” and “Mortal Kombat.”
After merging, the parties expect that Atomic Monster and Blumhouse will continue to operate as separate labels, with each maintaining its own creative autonomy and brand identity. Atomic Monster is expecting to utilize the existing Blumhouse infrastructure to further scale their activities in film, TV and new content areas. The idea behind the alliance is to increase the output from each side. They also hope to expand into horror-related games, live entertainment and audio.
And the timing couldn’t be better. At the box office, it’s been a scary-good year for horror with successes like “Scream,” “Terrifier 2,” “Smile,” “Barbarian” and “Halloween Ends.” Those films managed to beat expectations as films of other genres — namely comedies, dramas and anything that doesn’t involve superheroes or scares — struggle to bring in audiences.
Blumhouse and Atomic Monsters have already collaborated on the upcoming film “M3gan,” a mysterious thriller about an artificial intelligence doll. Her killer dance moves instantly went viral when the first trailer debuted online earlier this fall. Universal is releasing the movie on Jan. 6, 2023.