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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jason Blum
Jason Blum by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Blum at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con
Born
Jason Ferus Blum

(1969-02-20) February 20, 1969 (age 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materVassar College
Occupation
  • Film producer
  • television producer
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)
Lauren A.E. Schuker (m. 2012)

Jason Ferus Blum (/blʌm/;[1] born February 20, 1969)[2] is an American film producer. He is the founder and CEO of eponymous company Blumhouse Productions, which has produced such film franchises as Paranormal Activity, The Purge, and Insidious. He also produced the critically acclaimed and commercially successful films Sinister (2012), Oculus (2013), The Gift (2015), Hush (2016), Split (2016), Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016), Happy Death Day (2017), Upgrade (2018), Halloween (2018), and Us (2019).

Blum received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Whiplash (2014), Get Out (2017), and BlacKkKlansman (2018).[3] He received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie for producing the drama film The Normal Heart (2014). He also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series for the documentary miniseries The Jinx (2015).

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Jason Blum: How Horror Movies Became a Money Making Machine (Blumhouse)
  • ✪ Eli Roth and Jason Blum talk producing Horror

Transcription

I’m Alex Berman and you’re watching SELLING BREAKDOWNS You’ve got an idea for a movie, right? Everybody does; some story you’d like to capture on film. But if you looked at movies as a pure investment, where the only thing you cared about was making money, then what kind of movie would you make? Well, it turns out there is only one sensible answer; horror. Today, we’re going to look at an American production house called Blumhouse, who have produced some of the highest grossing horror films of all time. We’ll compare their model to that of other, non-horror studios and see why their genre has such a shocking return on investment. Horror films have a long history, dating back to the start of cinema itself. Probably the earliest is this film called “Le manoir du diable” by George Melies. A German film, The Golem, from 1915, was one of the first monster movies and was hugely influential over the years. The genre has always had trends over the decades. The 30s had literary classics like Frankenstein, Dracula and The Invisible Man. After the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 50s saw a theme of radiation fuelled giants like Godzilla and The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. The 70s was demonic possession with The Exorcist, Carrie, The Omen. The 90s was serial killers; Seven, Silence of the Lambs, Scream. This year, the big horror hits were IT, Get Out, Split and Annabelle: Creation. Some might include Alien: Covenant and the last Resident Evil film as well, which would make horror six of the top thirty biggest grossing movies worldwide, in 2017. IT was a pretty famous book and film before the remake, and Annabelle: Creation is actually the 4th film in the popular series called The Conjuring. But Get Out and Split are completely original screenplays, made by Blumhouse Productions. Jason Blum started Blumhouse back in 2009 and it hit the scene with a bang, producing Paranormal Activity. The production budget was just $15,000 and it went on to gross $193 million, giving it the best return on investment of any film ever made. And you might think, “okay, they just got lucky.” Well, they’ve done it again and again. Paranormal Activity 2 upped the budget to 3 million and but still made 177 million. Then there were hits like Insidious, The Purge, Unfriended; all these had an ROI of over 1,000 percent. Split, despite having big star in James McAvoy and director M Night Shyamalan, only cost $9 million and made 278 million. Get Out was even more surprising. It had no big names, it was a directing debut by Jordan Peele, who was known for his comedy double act Key and Peele. Again, a small budget of 4.5 million and a huge box office of $253 million. Peele himself made an interesting comment about how comedy and horror are so close; you build tension and then have a release, it’s all in the timing. And though he might be right from a filmmaking perspective, the same isn’t true when it comes to marketing. Do you think an intelligent comedy that was a critique about race in America would make quarter of a billion at the box office? Not a hope. Get Out needed the horror element to make it marketable. And you know why? Because horror is so much easier to sell. Think about why each genre is popular - comedy makes you laugh, romantic comedies give people that warm, emotional kick, action movies are exciting. But try getting that in a trailer or a billboard. Jokes need context, romance needs time, action is simple but you spoil the film if you show all the best set pieces in a trailer. But for a horror film trailer, get some dark lighting, throw in some screams and a couple of jump scares and you have answered the only question anyone cares about; is it scary? Marketing movies has become extremely expensive, maybe in part thanks to the aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes - you can see a bit more about this in our video last week about review sites, link below. Unless a movie has universal glowing reviews, you need to really push to get people in the doors. We talk a lot about production budgets today but, as a rule of thumb, you can assume that the marketing budget is equal to the production budget. It’s almost impossible to get any figures on this though so we’re working on estimates. Horror films still need promotion but since their market is smaller, thanks to being rated R most of the time, they don’t need to cast their net as wide as say, Marvel Studios. Let’s actually compare the two; Blumhouse and Marvel Studios. You might think that although Blumhouse makes really high ROI, thanks to the low cost of making a horror film, they’re still never going to make the kind of money the blockbuster giant like Marvel does. Since Blumhouse launched in 2009, they’ve made 64 films. The highest budget has been 10 million, but the vast majority were 5 million or under. In total, they’ve spent around 200 million on production. Their total box office has been 4.5 billion. So a return of 4.3 billion in just 8 years. Obviously, there are marketing costs and they work with major distributors so actual profit is way less than that. What about Marvel Studios? In the same time period, they’ve made 14 movies, costing 2.6 billion and grossing 11.8 billion. So a 9.2 billion return. But their marketing is astronomical, at least 100 million a movie and probably double that so the two studios are actually on a pretty similar level. If we bring in a third studio, Dreamworks Animation, for more context. Their figures since 2009 are a 2.5 billion spend on production for 8.2 billion box office. So, you see what we mean about Horror. The risk is far far lower but the gains are almost the same. They don’t need big names attached to them, they don’t even need good reviews. Sure, the big hits like Get Out, Split and Paranormal Activity are well reviewed but Blumhouse still averaged about $100 million for each of Ouija, The Purge and it’s sequels, the Insidious sequels and many of the Paranormal sequels, despite a critical panning. Here’s the thing. Studios have realised that if you put together a good scary trailer and open as widely as you can across the country, you will get an audience. A non-Blumhouse film from 2012, The Devil Inside, was clearly made to copy Paranormal Activity’s success, using an uncredited production house called Room 101, who had actually worked on the Paranormal sequels. Paramount distributed it and spent about $5 million promoting it, despite it being made for under $1 million. It opened in over 2,500 cinemas in the US and made over $50 million domestically, and about the same overseas. Audiences hated it, people routinely booed in the cinemas and it had terrible reviews on every site. It was a terrible film and was dead in the water by the second week but it didn’t matter, one week had been enough. It’s a total smash and grab. The famous statistical analysis site fivethrityeight.com shows how year after year, the horror genre has outperformed every other on ROI. They make the interesting point that not only are they helped by cheap production but they also work well across languages. The scripts are often pretty basic, there’s very little nuance so you won’t lose much in translation; a scream is pretty universal, right? It works the other way too, with popular foreign horror often getting a like-for-like hollywood remake, like The Grudge and The Ring. So, you don’t need to be the next Paul Thomas Anderson or Charlie Kaufman if you want to make money from the movies; grab a camcorder, a bucket of ketchup and remember, you only need a great 90 second trailer, the other 90 minutes can go to hell. Wanna learn more about business theory and history? Be sure to like and subscribe to be notified of our next segment.

Contents

Early life

Blum was born in Los Angeles, California,[4] the son of Shirley (née Neilsen) and Irving Blum. His mother was an art professor and his father was an independent art dealer and director of the Ferus Gallery.[5][6] His father was Jewish.[7][8] His mother was previously married to museum director Walter Hopps.[9][10]

Career

Blum worked for Bob and Harvey Weinstein as an executive at Miramax, and later as an independent producer for Paramount Pictures. Prior to his tenure at Miramax, Blum was a producing director at Ethan Hawke's Malaparte theater company.[11] Blum is a 1991 graduate of Vassar College.[12][13]

He obtained financing for his first film as producer, Kicking and Screaming (1995), after receiving a letter from family acquaintance, entertainer Steve Martin, who endorsed the script. Blum attached the letter to copies of the script he sent around to Hollywood executives.[14]

Blumhouse Productions

In 2000, he founded Blumhouse Productions, which specializes in producing micro-budget movies that give directors full creative control over the projects.[11] Some of the films produced by Blum have been highly profitable, including horror film Paranormal Activity which was made for $15,000 and earned nearly $200 million.[15] NPR's Planet Money did a special podcast about how Blum's production house gets its success.[16]

Blum also produced Insidious (2010), Sinister (2012), The Purge (2013), and Happy Death Day (2017), all of which had successful sequels.[17] In 2014, he served as an executive producer on the television film The Normal Heart, which went on to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. In 2015, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series for HBO's The Jinx. Blum produced the feature films BlacKkKlansman, Whiplash and Get Out, all of which earned him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Picture.[3]

In 2018, Blum said in an interview that the reason no woman had ever directed one of his horror films was that "there are not a lot of female directors (...) and even less who are inclined to do horror".[18] After much criticism on social media, in which lists of such directors were circulated,[19] he apologized for what he called his "dumb comments".[20]

Personal life

On July 14, 2012, Blum married journalist Lauren A.E. Schuker in Los Angeles.[5]

In July 2019 he bought a Brooklyn Heights townhouse for $9.8 million.[21]

Filmography

Film

Television

References

  1. ^ "Five Favorite Horror Films: Jason Blum". Rotten Tomatoes. October 15, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "Interview Jason Blum". Dorkshelf. February 20, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Oscar Nominations: 'Grand Budapest Hotel' & 'Birdman' Lead Way With 9 Noms; 'Imitation Game' Scores 8". Deadline. January 15, 2015.
  4. ^ Bhattacharji, Alex (July 16, 2018). "How Producer Jason Blum is Disrupting Hollywood". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved September 20, 2018. closed access
  5. ^ a b "Weddings/Celebrations - Lauren Schuker and Jason Blum". The New York Times. July 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Blums". Dictionary of Art Historians.
  7. ^ Stromberg, David (March 28, 2008). "The Forgotten Warhol". Haaretz. In fact, the first person to present Andy Warhol as a visual, as opposed to commercial, artist was a Jew named Irving Blum, who in 1962 exhibited - and then bought for himself - the entire original series of Warhol's Campbell's Soup can paintings.
  8. ^ Klug, Lisa (June 23, 2016). "Who said Jews run Hollywood? Inaugural list of 100 prominent players in Tinseltown shows a lack of diversity -- and a whole lot of MOT". Times of Israel.
  9. ^ "White Men Can't Paint! by Charlie Finch". Artnet Magazine.
  10. ^ Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter (November 4, 2013). "Art Dealer Irving Blum on Andy Warhol and the 1960s L.A. Art Scene (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ a b "About Blumhouse Productions". Blumhouse.com. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013.
  12. ^ Lynn Hirschberg. "Producer Jason Blum Is Taking Hollywood By Storm With Horror Movies". W. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  13. ^ "How I Made It: Jason Blum, film producer". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "I am Jason Blum, producer of Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious: Chapter2". Reddit. June 18, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  15. ^ "Paranormal Activity (2007)". Box Office Mojo.
  16. ^ Henn, Steve; Vanek Smith, Stacey (March 29, 2017). "Episode 650: The Business Genius Behind Get Out". NPR. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "Q&A: Producer Jason Blum talks "OUIJA", "PURGE 3", "CURVE" & More…". Fangoria. February 4, 2015. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  18. ^ Patches, Matt (October 18, 2018). "Blumhouse has never produced a theatrically released horror movie directed by a woman — but hopes to". Polygon. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  19. ^ Nyren, Erin (October 18, 2018). "Jason Blum Says He's Meeting With Women Directors After Claiming 'There Aren't a Lot'". Variety. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  20. ^ Lussier, Germain (October 19, 2018). "Halloween Producer Jason Blum Has Apologized for His Ridiculous Comments About Women Directors". io9. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  21. ^ Keil, Jennifer Gould (July 24, 2019). "Producer Jason Blum shells out $10M for Brooklyn townhouse". NY Post. Retrieved August 11, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 September 2019, at 16:34
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