Jason Blum, James Wan in talks to merge horror production companies

Horror masters Jason Blum and James Wan are in advanced talks to merge their companies, Blumhouse Productions and Atomic Monster, into a megahouse full of thrills and spills.

Known for its low-budget approach to terror, Blumhouse currently has a first look deal with Universal, extending to Atomic Monster as long as the deal closes. Wan’s first-look deal with Warner Bros. ended earlier this year after nearly ten years.

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Thanks to the success of exciting franchises such as “Halloween,” “Paranormal Activity,” and “The Purge,” Blumhouse movies have grossed at least $5 billion worldwide. Wan, whose films as a director have earned more than $3.7 billion worldwide, is the creative brain behind “The Conjuring” and “Saw” series. As of 2004, Wan and Blumhouse have a combined box office of $11.6 billion.

“We really complement each other, yin and yang, which is what makes this so exciting,” Wan told the New York Times, which first reported the news of the potential union.

Once the companies can combine, the joint venture will be home to a string of hair-raising properties, such as “Annabelle,” “The Nun,” “Paranormal Activity,” “The Purge,” and “Happy Death Day.” And apart from franchise fare, the two production houses have supported popular 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 their own creative autonomy and brand identity. Atomic Monster expects to leverage existing Blumhouse infrastructure to further scale their film, TV and new content businesses. The idea behind the alliance is to increase the output of both sides. 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 was a frighteningly good year for horror with hits like “Scream,” “Terrifier 2,” “Smile,” “Barbarian,” and “Halloween Ends.” Those films managed to exceed expectations as films of other genres – namely comedies, dramas and anything that does not involve superheroes or terrifying things – struggle to attract audiences.

Blumhouse and Atomic Monsters have already teamed up on the upcoming movie “M3gan”, a mysterious thriller about a puppet with artificial intelligence. Her amazing dance moves immediately went viral when the first trailer appeared online earlier this fall. Universal will release the film on January 6, 2023.

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