“Halloween” grossed $76 million its opening weekend and broke records in the process, so it’s hard to imagine there won’t be a sequel to the Blumhouse film.
That said, Jason Blum, CEO of Blumhouse Productions, told TheWrap that while there is definite interest there to make a sequel, nothing has been greenlit — yet.
“It’s hard to make a great movie, period, and I always say, make a great movie first and we’ll figure out a franchise after,” Blum told TheWrap. “Of course we would want to make a sequel, in fact, we’re dying to make a sequel, but we’re guests in Malek Akkad’s house so there are a lot of people that have to be in the same mindset as us. Nothing’s been set in stone, but we’re certainly going to try.”
Akkad was a producer on most of the movies in the 40-year “Halloween” franchise, including “Halloween H20” and “Halloween II,” and the newest one. His father, Moustapha Al Akkad, was a Syrian-American film producer best known for producing the original series of the “Halloween” films.
Producer Ryan Turek, who spearheaded the entire project from the beginning, also told TheWrap: “Of course I would like to make another one, but Jason always told me, focus on the one movie and then we’ll talk about a sequel after. We would need to have a great story to tell, it has to feel relevant, it has to be scary, it has to have meaning.”
Convincing Akkad to hand over the rights was extremely important to Blum. And Turek was the one who saw an opportunity for “Halloween” after Dimension Films lost the production rights, which then reverted back to Miramax.
“We had to approach it the way that we were a guest in Malek Akkad and Trancas Films’ house: he built it and he invited us in as guests,” Blum said. “I presented our involvement in that way and in many, many conversations over a long period of time. We were lucky to have him invite us over, and I worked on Miramax the same way.”
“It was very, very hard and complicated [to get the rights],” he added. “[Trancas Films] have an enormous amount of control and I had to get [Akkad] to trust that we were going to take care of his children.”
Blumhouse has become synonymous with low-budget horror hits, including “The Purge” series, the “Insidious” franchise, the “Paranormal Activity” films, “Happy Death Day,” “Split” and “Get Out.” And Blum said the new “Halloween” sequel fit right into the Blumhouse model, having “checked all the Blumhouse boxes.”
“One of the things I am most proud of with this film is that it didn’t stray from the model at all,” Blum said. “I was excited to do it because I wanted to see whether we could use our model with a franchise that’s been around for 40 years and has seen 11 films, and we approached it exactly like our sequels for ‘The Purge’ and ‘Insidious.’ The budget level was the same.”
The reason the film has already been so successful, said Blum, is because they didn’t necessarily follow the Hollywood stigma of hiring a horror director for their horror film. Jordan Peele and Joel Edgerton, he said, weren’t your quintessential horror directors but still were able to helm hits like “Get Out” and “The Gift,” respectively, and so they hired David Gordon Green, known for comedies like “Pineapple Express” and “The Sitter,” as well as dramas like Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Stronger” and “Our Brand Is Crisis.”
“I also think it was very timely,” Blum said about about the film’s success. “I think the timeliness of three generations of women overcoming the most famous male villain alive… and it was also topical in the sense of trauma 40 years later and what that looks like. With ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘It,’ there’s a love of nostalgia right now, and I think that had something to do with it. Also, the combination of Danny McBride, David Gordon Green, Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter was a winning combination for people.”
“Halloween’s” opening weekend number didn’t quite reach the October opening record set by “Venom” two weeks ago with $80 million, but it did beat the Blumhouse opening weekend record of $52.5 million set by “Paranormal Activity 3” in 2011. It’s also the second-best opening set by any R-rated horror movie — last year’s “It” remake holds the record with $123 million — and is among the top 10 openings for all R-rated films. It also scored the biggest horror movie opening with a female lead, biggest movie opening with a female lead over 55, and the biggest “Halloween” opening ever.