Despite a long history with thriller hits at the box office, Jason Blum still struggles to get his movie to theaters. Usually, wisdom drops a few times a year, mostly around Halloween. Horror movies don’t have the same reputation as the TV series, or the ubiquitous appeal of blockbuster superheroes, and are considered venture capital investments, even if the numbers say otherwise.
But after a successful decade – Paranormal Operations, The Purge, Get Out Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions has found itself no longer pursuing theatrical films, especially as AMC and Regal struggle during the pandemic. Instead, streamers are reaching out to him, and the best part: they believe horror is all year round.
In many ways, Blum is often ahead of the curve ̵1; and the creepy, spooky, and violent movies he releases on a tight budget could be the best beacon of where to stream next.
“I am acutely aware when you sell someone in large quantities – without naming it – and I want to tell you that it makes you want to jump off a cliff,” Blum said. The Verge. “All the fun in my job disappears when you drop a bucket of water into the lake and it disappears.”
It was a good time for Blum. His production company Blumhouse has teamed up with Amazon Studios for a series of films in the compilation series, Welcome to Blumhouse. The first four movies – Nocturne, Black Box, Evil Eye, and Lie – all streaming on Amazon Prime Video right now. Just days before Halloween, Blum and the head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke, announced four sequels to the series, all to come out next year. All will be available live and exclusively on Prime Video.
Under Salke, Amazon Studios made a slight strategic change. The company is not focused on getting all of its original titles to theaters. Amazon Studios’ main driver matches the rest of the company – increasing Prime subscribers. For Salke, that means taking the best of Amazon Studios projects and releasing them directly on Amazon Prime Video.
“It always depends on what’s next,” Salke said. “If someone comes up with something new and the horror genre is going to reach a large audience, of course we’ll be in soon.”
As Salke made a deal to bring eight Blumhouse movies – a mix of horror, thriller and suspense – into Prime Video, the goal has always been to offer subscribers fresh things to see from one of the companies Hollywood’s most famous producer.
“It feels like someone is really paying attention to what they’re watching, paying attention to what we’re doing, and wanting that specifically,” Blum said, working with Salke and Amazon on Welcome to Blumhouse. “It was the first time I had the experience of streaming.”
The first four movies performed better than Amazon had predicted, Salke said The Verge, but will not specify any actual numbers. Salke said she was “particularly happy” with the number of voters who went to the polls in just the first week, adding “Welcome to Blumhouse actually reaching a substantial audience, ”made her and her team feel“ even more optimistic about the next segment ”. While Salke declined to give actual numbers on titles, she didn’t shy away from noting that Blum’s movies are helping to attract new subscribers – even if she says it in the same way. entertaining as much as possible.
“We are currently driving so much Prime engagement around the world through Prime Video customers, that we fill our schedules by a certain amount,” says Salke. “We have alternative strategies to ensure new customers are brought in, which this particular movie has achieved success.”
As Blum said, horror is experiencing a moment of popularity today. People are obsessed with movies like Hereditary and Summer, and dramas like The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix is being streamed around the world. While Amazon is seeing more followers to watch horror movies and series like Welcome to Blumhouse than expected, according to Salke, the company is not alone.
Shudder, a smaller streaming service that launched in 2015 and specializes in thriller, thriller and other related movies and TV shows, has surpassed 1 million subscribers. September. According to Craig Engler, general manager of Shudder, part of that subscriber increase is due to the pandemic and people stuck at home looking for new content to watch every day. Part of the reason, however, is due to the huge shift in the way most people get into their entertainment.
“People are finding new ways to tell new stories in a relatively new medium, towards horror,” Engler said. “Now that that horror has spilled into the television space, into the streaming space, it is here to remain on a higher level than ever before.”
Shows like American horror story has found new life on streamers like Netflix, and a growing attention has helped advertisers in outer space projects they may not be able to succeed. Blum notes that “one of the great things about streaming is that we can seize the opportunity.” That experiment is targeting audiences willing to spend $ 6, $ 10 or even $ 15 per month on access to a streamer, Engler said, like Shudder’s Creepshow.
“People are really looking for something new in the horror space,” Engler said. “There isn’t anything like that Creepshow for a very long time, in the cinema or on the waves. Nothing like that The Haunting of Hill House appealing both horror and non-horror fans and is immediately accessible. We’re seeing an explosion of real creativity and storytelling happening almost every week because everyone has a place to achieve it. “
With the attention appearing to increase on horror titles, the competition is also heating up. Salke said The Verge that Amazon doesn’t have any plans to change its content strategy (like increasing spending on special horror titles to compete with Netflix and Hulu), but Amazon is committed to working with partners. and licensing for titles that still exist in the game, like Welcome to Blumhouse.
Smaller services like Shudder According to Engler, they are trying to find ways to stand out more. Shudder doesn’t necessarily compete with the content budget that Netflix or Hulu (owned by Disney) have, but the company’s growth in subscribers and daily engagement prove there is enough interest to people have a piece of cake, Engler said.
“Everyone who subscribed to Shudder also subscribed to Netflix or Amazon Prime,” Engler said. “Those live streamers always have something interesting in the work, but you get a quick glimpse of their horror inventory because they’re trying to be everything for everyone. The genre itself is huge and broad, and there are a lot of people interested in it. On a large streamer, you’ll only get a lot. We are the place to bring you more ”.
Shudder lost to either Netflix or Amazon, and Engler admits it’s likely to happen again. His bet at Shudder is that the spectators are searching for more horror than ever on streaming services. Unlike traditional theatrical models, which used to try to keep horror through the fall and winter months, horror has now become a regular year round. This is a good time to get into the streaming business – and even better time to be a vendor.
“I have survived two horror cycles that were prevalent, prevalent, and prevalent. We have never changed our strategy, ”Blum said. “If you are making good quality, scary movies, you always find that audience. Right now we are at a horror peak, and in two years we will be in a valley, but we don’t want to change what we’re doing and now the people that stream are here asking what we are doing. “