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The Logic Behind a Horror Movie Megamerger

Jason Blum’s horror production house, Blumhouse, is closing a deal to acquire filmmaker James Wan’s Atomic Monster. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage, Lisa O’Connor/AFP
Matthew Belloni
November 21, 2022

A question floating among showbiz dealmakers this week: How much is Blumhouse Productions worth now? That’s a fascinating exercise after the Times revealed the horror production house, purveyor of everything from Get Out to The Purge to the Halloween and Exorcist reboots to this year’s The Black Phone and January’s Me3an, is closing a deal to acquire filmmaker James Wan’s Atomic Monster, producer of The Conjuring movies, as well as Insidious and many more. It will create a behemoth in a booming space with arguably the two most successful horror producers of all time, both with first-look deals at Universal Pictures. What would be the price, a billion? $2 billion? More?   

Jason Blum wants very much for it to be “more.” It’s no secret the producer has long coveted a massive sale of the company he founded as a microbudget factory in 2000. Blum is ultra-competitive—he goes nuts every time a rival launches a new franchise, like Wan has done with Saw and Conjuring—and he’s a student of Hollywood history. He wants nothing more than a Pixar or Norman Lear or David Geffen-style transaction to separate him from the regular producers and add his name to the tiny list of those who came to Hollywood, thoroughly kicked its ass, and cashed out as a billionaire.