Even though Insidious opened to the tune of $13.3 million back in April of 2011 on a mere $1.5 million production budget, producer Jason Blum didn’t consider the film a hit until it defied the odds and evaded the familiar horror genre weekend #2 box office crash. Even more impressive: after dipping just 29.4% making the move through weekend two, Insidious continued to play exceptionally well – so well in fact that the film spent 23 weekends in theaters and wrapped its worldwide theatrical run with nearly $100 million in the bank. Clearly that success warranted sequel talk.
Insidious came out in April 2011, but the Insidious Chapter 2 treatment didn’t arrive until nearly a year later. And, even more striking, after finally getting the go-ahead in November 2012, it then zipped through pre-production, production, and was totally finished by June of 2013. While at the Insidious Chapter 2 press day in New York City, Blum recalled the reasoning behind the rapid production timeline:
“We started talking about Insidious 2 pretty soon after Insidious 1… As long as there was a chance that James [Wan] and Leigh [Whannell] were gonna write the second movie and direct the second movie, I didn’t want to do it with someone else, and they kept saying they might do it, they might not do it, which was why there’s quite a bit of time between the two movies.
When they finally decided they wanted to do it, then it did go very quickly, and we were working on trying to make it work with James’ schedule with The Conjuring … It was a very tough needle to thread, but we threaded it. We basically green lit it off a long treatment.”
While Insidious Chapter 2 did come with a higher price tag than the original, the film’s budget is still strikingly minimal compared to the typical Hollywood horror sequel – and that’s a standard Blum is adamant about upholding. Somewhat ironically, he insists on keeping his budgets below a certain level so he can give his filmmakers the chance to do whatever they want:
“If the sequel of The Purge gets green lit or the sequel of Sinister gets green lit, those will be very low budget movies for all the same reasons that the originals are low budget. I can’t say to James and Leigh, do whatever you want, if the movie cost $20 million. Then, there’s a lot more people involved, understandably. The only way I get to say, ‘You can make a sequel, but it can be whatever you want it to be,’ is if the movie’s very inexpensive.”
But before The Purge 2 and Sinister 2 get that same treatment, Blumhouse has plans to see a few other projects through production. Even though The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes is not one of the ones moving forward before the year’s end, Blum did confirm that his company is actively developing it and that, even though we’ve seen the story time and time again, should it get that coveted green light, the film will exceed our expectations:
“One of the reasons it’s taking as long as it is, is because I don’t want to make an Amityville movie unless – the fun thing about making the Amityville movie is that everyone’s like, ‘Ugh! This is gonna suck,’ right? So you gotta make something that surprises them … The reason I like making sequels is because people come and see them like , ‘Ugh, it’s gonna suck.’ [But then] it’s like, ‘Wow. This is good!’ Like, the Paranormal movies, hopefully most of them, the sequels stand up on their own. I think Insidious does that, too. It’s like, people will be pleasantly surprised. And Amityville, I can promise, if we make it, which we’re not doing yet but we’re developing it, it’s gonna feel very different.”
You know the best part about anticipating The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes, Sinister 2, The Purge 2, or any other project Blum has in the works? Since Insidious, Blum has delivered a steady stream of horror movies and looks to continue to do so, meaning we never really have to wait for our next horror move fix.
You can check out our full chat with Blum in the video interview below
Be sure to take advantage of that hearty horror flow and catch Insidious Chapter 2 on its very appropriate release date, Friday, September 13, 2013.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.