Blumhouse Productions is one of the biggest names in horror right now – with films to their name like Split, The Purge, Insidious, and Paranormal Activity.
It all started with their big breakout hit in 2007, Paranormal Activity. Blumhouse’s brilliant idea? Make many low-budget Hollywood (horror) films, with the promise of high return. Paranormal Activity was made on a measly budget of $15,000, and grossed $193.4 million. Yeah…you read that right. Thus, their low-budget business model came to be.
Throughout the 2000’s, Blumhouse churned out horrors like it was nobody’s business. The massive returns on these films soon afforded Jason Blum to make higher financial and creative risks as the company expanded; like The Purge: Anarchy ($9 million cost), Ouija: Origin of Evil ($9 million cost), Insidious: Chapter 3 ($10 million cost), The Purge: Election Year ($10 million cost), and Birth of the Dragon ($31 million cost). It doesn’t look like Blumhouse has any inkling of slowing down either – with upcoming films Glass (sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable), Happy Death Day 2U, and The Gallows Act II on the horizon.
With all the financial success Blumhouse has achieved they decided “why not produce a Halloween remake?” (I can only assume that’s how the conversation went down). While pre-sale numbers have not been released yet – we can safely assume with the critical reviews, talent involved, and the inclusion of the original Halloween creator John Carpenter’s hand in the film, that it will be a financially stable release. Monumental, even.
But how do the current Blumhouse films financially pair up? Let’s find out the 10 Highest Grossing Horrors of Blumhouse!
10. Happy Death Day (2017) Budget $4.8 Million – Grossed $123 Million Worldwide
Christopher Landon’s (Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, Disturbia) Groundhog Day-esque horror/thriller rocks out on the top of our list. Also with a sequel on the way, aptly titled Happy Death Day 2U, it’s safe to say the buzz might drive up extra ticket sales for the sequel. Happy Death Day is a fun romp which excelled at the box office due its PG-13 rating opening doors to a rare slasher film geared towards younger audiences.
9. The First Purge (2018) Budget $13 Million – Grossed $136 Million Worldwide
Clocking in at number 9 on the list is Gerard McMurray’s The First Purge. This film had a brilliant marketing campaign; a series of trailers fashioned to look like infomercials trying to sell you on purging! Another great touch was their use of the now iconic Donald Trump MAGA hat, with the phrase, “The First Purge,” on it; feeding into the current political client in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
8. Paranormal Activity 4 (2012) Budget $5 Million – Grossed $143 Million Worldwide
Our 8th installment on this list is part of a franchise that will appear many more times throughout – Paranormal Activity. Directed by a team of directors, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Viral, Catfish, Nerve), is Paranormal Activity 4. Arguably the film does lose a fair amount of the appeal, direction, and creativity of the first three – but Neither the less, it still killed at the box office.
7. Insidious Chapter: 2 (2013) Budget $5 Million – Grossed $162 Million Worldwide
Tiptoeing its way into our 7th spot is horror icon James Wan’s Insidious Chapter: 2. Wan is an all around incredible horror director from his breakout mainstream debut Saw, to his obscure ventriloquist horror Dead Silence. Everything that Wan puts his name on is bound to be wonderful.. and terrifying. Insidious Chapter: 2 is a direct sequel to Insidious (2010), and does what so many horror sequels have problems achieving; it’s terrifying. Chapter: 2 is able to deliver the same level of intense and seemingly endless scares as its predecessor.
6. Insidious: The Last Key (2018) Budget $10 Million – Grossed $168 Million Worldwide
Insidious: The Last Key is directed by Adam Robitel (The Taking of Deborah Logan) and is the 4th installment in the Insidious franchise, and is the sequel to the prequel. Though not the strongest entry in the franchise, it definitely delivered at the box office.
5. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010) Budget $3 Million – Grossed $178 Million Worldwide
It’s hard to imagine how difficult it would be to follow-up Oren Peli’s phenomenal smash hit Paranormal Activity; a film that seemingly reinvigorated the found footage sub-genre – but Paranormal Activity 2 was able to do so by breaking the record for highest midnight gross for a R-rated feature. PA 2 was directed by Tod Williams and written by Tom Pabst, Michael R. Perry, and Christopher Landon, who would go on to direct Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones just 4 years later. PA 2 serves as both a prequel and a sequel, helping build the soon-to-be Paranormal Activity universe.
4. Paranormal Activity (2007) Budget $15,000 – Grossed $193 Million Worldwide
Oren Peli’s directorial debut Paranormal Activity had no clue of the impact that it would have on the horror community and industry. Not only did the film make 12,893x its original budget, but it jump started the fading heartbeat of the found footage film. While others in the franchise may not have reached the incredible critical success of the first film, Paranormal Activity definitely has made a lasting impact within the genre – and this list.
3. Paranormal Activity 3 (2011) Budget $5 Million – Grossed $207 Million Worldwide
Paranormal Activity 3 holds a special place in my heart – as I skipped work one day and went to see it. Then I got fired. (And I only slightly regret it.)
Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel to the first film, where it focuses on Katie as a child. This film dominated the box office (and the previous Paranormal Activity installments) by tapping into social media. They held a “Tweet your scream” campaign, where they encouraged audiences to tweet about their response and reactions to the film.
2. Get Out (2017) Budget $4.8 Million – Grossed $256 Million Worldwide
Jordan Peele’s Academy Award winning, still certified FRESH horror debut Get Out is the runner up on our list of highest grossing films. Get Out took the genre – AND the film community – by storm in 2017. A brilliant film, it is well deserved at #2 on our list.
1. Split (2016) Budget $9 Million – Grossed $279 Million Worldwide
Split isn’t your typical M. Night Shyamalan film, and by that I mean the twist was exclusively for people who have seen Unbreakable. Triumphing with wonderful, standout performances from James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy, and a great word of mouth, Split dominated during its theatrical release. And, with a surprise tie-in to the Unbreakable universe, I expect this list will do some shifting once the release of Glass (the upcoming sequel) early next year.
Wow there were a lot of Paranormal Activity films on that list. Blumhouse continues to prove that they are a powerhouse of the horror genre, serving up original content, low-budget features and expanding fan-favorite franchises. And the horror community is grateful they show no signs of slowing.