2019 SAG-AFTRA Convention


A Conversation with Jason Blum Moderated by Ben Fritz


Jason Blum is founder of Blumhouse Productions, is a three-time Academy Award®-nominated, two-time Primetime Emmy Award and a two-time Peabody Award-winning producer. His multimedia company is known for pioneering a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films.  

Blumhouse is widely regarded as a driving force in the current horror renaissance. He is a producer on Us, the recent film from Jordan Peele, starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, and Ma, the horror, thriller film starring Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Diana Silver, Luke Evans, McKaley Miller, Missi Pyle, Corey Fogelmanis, Gianni Paolo and Dante Brown. 

The 2019 film Glass from M. Night Shyamalan; 2017 blockbusters Split from M. Night Shyamalan; and Get Out from Jordan Peele, with combined budgets of less than $35 million, went on to gross more than $730 million worldwide. Glass was also Blumhouse’s 11th film to open at No. 1. In addition, Get Out was nominated for four Academy Awards® in 2018 — including Best Picture — and won the Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay. Last October, the company’s Halloween posted the second-highest opening ($76 million) for a horror movie after IT.

Blumhouse has also produced the highly profitable The Purge, Insidious, Sinister and Paranormal Activity franchises, which together have grossed more than $1.6 billion at the global box office. Paranormal Activity, which was made for $15,000 and grossed close to $200 million worldwide, launched the Blumhouse model and became the most profitable film of all time. The company’s titles also include The Gift, Unfriended and The Visit. Blum, who was nominated for an Academy Award® for producing Whiplash, has appeared on Vanity Fair’s “New Establishment List” each year since 2015, received the 2016 Producer of the Year Award at CinemaCon and was named to the TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people in 2017. 

In television, Blum won Primetime Emmy Awards for producing HBO’s The Normal Heart and The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst and two Peabody Awards—for The Jinx and the documentary How to Dance in Ohio. In 2017, Blum launched an independent television studio with investment from ITV Studios. Recent television projects include Sharp Objects, a miniseries for HBO which starred Amy Adams and was based on Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel of the same name, and Good Lord Bird, the recently announced limited series based on the National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird by bestselling author James McBride, and starring Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Tony® nominee Ethan Hawke as 19th-century abolitionist John Brown for Showtime. Blumhouse also brought The Purge franchise to television, co-producing a series with Universal Cable Productions for USA Network.

Blumhouse’s multi-platform offerings include BH Tilt, a distribution company that takes advantage of new marketing strategies; Blumhouse Books, a publishing imprint with Doubleday; the digital genre network CryptTV; and Blumhouse Live, which produces live scary events for companies like AB InBev.

Blum is a member of the Sundance Institute’s Director’s Advisory Group. He also serves on the Board of the Public Theater in New York and the Board of Trustees for Vassar College. Before founding Blumhouse, Blum served as co-head of the Acquisitions and Co-Productions department at Miramax Films in New York. He began his career as the producing director of the Malaparte Theater Company, which was founded by Ethan Hawke.

He is married to journalist and screenwriter Lauren Blum and they have a daughter, Roxy, and a son, Booker.

BEN FRITZ is West Coast bureau chief for US News at The Wall Street Journal. He previously covered Hollywood for the Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Variety. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Fritz is a co-author of the best-selling book All the President's Spin, released in 2004 and sole author of the 2018 Los Angeles Times best-seller The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies, about the dramatic shake-up of Hollywood this century that has made super-heroes, sequels and toy franchises inescapable and original movies for adults an endangered species.