'Ma' is the latest hit from Hollywood's hottest horror studio — here are 9 other movies that show how it rules the box office

Blumhouse‘Ma’
  • The production company Blumhouse’s latest movie, “Ma,” opened over the weekend with $US18 million. It was made for $US5 million.
  • Blumhouse specialises in making small-budget movies, especially ones in the horror genre, that make big bucks at the box office.
  • Other recent examples include Jordan Peele’s breakout horror hit, “Get Out,” and last year’s “Halloween.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The production company Blumhouse Productions is no stranger to box-office success.

Its latest movie, “Ma,” starring Octavia Spencer in her first lead role, opened over the weekend with $US18 million. It was made for $US5 million, so it’s already greatly surpassed its production budget.

That’s what Blumhouse does best: make low-budget movies, particularly in the horror genre, that score a substantial profit. It’s the studio behind Jordan Peele’s breakout, “Get Out,” and last year’s “Halloween,” and it launched the “Paranormal Activity” and “Purge” franchises.

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But it’s also found success outside of horror with films that have caught the attention of the Oscars. It produced Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash” in 2014, which won J.K. Simmons a supporting-actor Oscar and was nominated for best picture. It also made Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” which won Lee his first competitive Oscar this year for screenwriting and was also nominated for best picture.

The company signed a first-look deal with Universal to distribute its movies in 2014, and its founder, Jason Blum, is one of the hottest producers in Hollywood. In an interview with Business Insider in April, Blum said that the goal of Blumhouse was “to be independent so we can tell stories we want to tell without asking permission.”

He added, “the more independent we are, the more that decision making has allowed us to flourish.”

To understand just how much it’s flourished, below are 10 Blumhouse movies that prove that its low-budget horror strategy is working at the box office.


2007: “Paranormal Activity”

Blumhouse

Worldwide gross: $US274 million

Budget: $US15,000

You read that right. The first “Paranormal Activity” was made for just $US15,000 and grossed $US274 million globally, paving the way for Blumhouse’s eventual Hollywood domination. It was the studio’s first real hit, and spawned five sequels. The franchise has grossed over $US970 million combined over six movies whose budgets never exceeded $US10 million.


2013: “The Purge”

Universal

Worldwide gross: $US89 million

Budget: $US3 million

Over the course of four entries, the “Purge” movies – about one night a year when all crime is legal – have made over $US450 million globally combined, and each instalment has made more than the last. A spin-off TV series, “The Purge,” debuted on the USA network last year, and a second season is in the works.


2013: “Insidious: Chapter 2”

FilmDistrict

Worldwide gross: $US162 million

Budget: $US5 million

James Wan’s first “Insidious” movie, which was released in 2011, was made for $US1.5 million and made $US97 million. Its 2013 sequel was a bigger hit, making $US162 million off of a $US5 million budget. Two more movies have followed, “Insidious: Chapter 3” in 2015 and “Insidious: The Last Key” last year. “The Last Key” was the highest-grossing movie in the franchise, with $US168 million worldwide.


2015: “The Visit”

Universal

Worldwide gross: $US98 million

Budget: $US5 million

After critical and box-office disasters like 2010’s “The Last Airbender” and 2013’s “After Earth,” writer and director M. Night Shyamalan needed a win. He found one with Blumhouse, which made his low-budget return to the horror genre with “The Visit.” It propelled Shyamalan back into the good graces of audiences, and he followed it up with some of the biggest hits of his career – again with Blumhouse.


2016: “Split”

Universal

Worldwide gross: $US278 million

Budget: $US9 million

After “The Visit,” Shyamalan made “Split,” which was a hit with audiences and critics alike (it has a decent 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, quite the step up from the 11% “After Earth” received). It was also notable for being a secret sequel to a classic Shyamalan film, “Unbreakable.” It was followed this year by the third entry in the trilogy, “Glass,” which was also a hit with $US247 million globally off of a $US20 million production budget.


2017: “Get Out”

Universal

Worldwide gross: $US255 million

Budget: $US4.5 million

“Get Out,” about a black man who is terrorised by his white girlfriend’s family, isn’t just notable for how much money it made: It made writer and director Jordan Peele a cultural sensation. He went on to win the Oscar for best original screenplay for the movie, and it was nominated for best picture, actor, and director, too.


2017: “Happy Death Day”

Worldwide gross: $US125 million

Budget: $US4.8 million

“Happy Death Day” came out of nowhere, but it made the most of its October release date and grossed $US120 million more than its production budget. It was enough to spawn a sequel which opened earlier this year called “Happy Death Day 2U.” It wasn’t quite as big of a hit, but made $US64 million off of a $US9 million budget.


2018: “Halloween”

Blumhouse

Worldwide gross: $US255 million

Budget: $US10 million

Blumhouse revived the “Halloween” franchise last year with this direct sequel to the 1978 original. With a mix of Blumhouse’s talents and the nostalgia of the original(Jamie Lee Curtis returned), it soared at the box office, and came close to beating the October opening-weekend record with $US76 million (it couldn’t edge out the $US80 million that “Venom” made).


2019: “Us”

Universal

Worldwide gross: $US254 million

Budget: $US20 million

Jordan Peele’s follow up to “Get Out,” again produced by Jason Blum, “Us,” cemented Peele as one of the few filmmakers who can attract audiences to the theatre. The movie opened to an impressive $US70 million, the biggest opening for an original horror movie of all time. It had a higher budget than “Get Out,” and fell just short of “Get Out’s” total gross, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t successful.


2019: “Ma”

Blumhouse

Worldwide gross (So far – still in theatres):$US21 million

Budget: $US5 million

“Ma” is the latest movie to prove that Blumhouse’s low-budget horror-movie strategy is winning over audiences, as it’s already made $US21 million after a weekend in theatres. It stars Octavia Spencer as a woman who throws parties for, and then stalks and terrorizes, a group of teenagers.

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