Blumhouse Productions makes popular Hollywood movies like “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge” on a strict budget.

Jason Blum is the guy behind Blumhouse Productions, which produces horror movies like “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge.” They’re profitable franchises that rely on a straightforward business model: Production costs that don’t exceed $5 million.

That’s why he turned down Scarlett Johansson for one of his films, “The Gift,” he explained at the Code Media conference at the Ritz Carlton in Dana Point, Calif.

A movie studio was interested in bankrolling the film, but only if they could attach Johansson, who’s rate alone would exceed Blum’s $5 million ceiling. He turned it down.

“It’s very hard as a producer to think, ‘Shit, I got Rebecca Hall for scale, but if I could work with Scarlett Johannson for $8 million this would be great!’ I don’t think that way,” said Blum. “But a lot of people do, and anyway, I wound up doing it with neither one of those people.”

Blum went on: “There’s a method in Hollywood which is hard to escape from, and it’s largely ego based: If you have a hit, you should make a more expensive movie. It’s so hard to not think that the cool kids spend money, and the less cool kids don’t.”

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Author: April Glaser

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