×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Blumhouse, Meridian Form Multi-Year Co-Financing Agreement (EXCLUSIVE)

Meridian Entertainment has reached a film financing agreement with Blumhouse Productions, the makers of “The Purge” and “Insidious,” Variety has learned.

The pact is a multi-year one and will cover all Blumhouse films outside of the production company’s overall deal with Universal Pictures. The partners first film will be a remake of Benji, the long-running series of films about a mixed-breed dog with a preternatural ability to rescue humans.

The deal comes after a wave of successes for Blumhouse and its founder Jason Blum. The studio recently scored back-to-back box office hits with Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” a buzzy thriller about race relations, and M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split,” a psychological horror film about a man with 23 distinct personalities. The company’s films have made $2.8 billion, but what makes them particularly valuable to studios is they carry small budgets, typically between $5 million to $10 million. That means they are enormously profitable when they connect with audiences.

Meridian is a Chinese company that has started to broaden its investments outside of the Middle Kingdom in recent years. The company has backed the likes of “Casting JonBenet,” an acclaimed documentary about the JonBenet Ramsey murder that Netflix acquired out of the Sundance Film Festival and Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s “A Prayer Before Dawn,” a Muay Thai boxing film that sold to A24 Films out of the Berlin International Film Festival. Founded in 2013 by journalist and media business veteran, Jennifer Dong, it has also backed a number of Chinese box office hits such as “Running Man” and “Mojin: The Lost Legend.”

Popular on Variety

“As Meridian continues to expand, we are committed to financing high-quality films in various genres, and working with suppliers like Blumhouse, which has a powerful brand and a remarkable track record of success,” Dong said in a statement.

Meridian also partners with FremantleMedia North America and oversees the film business of Random House Studios. In addition to financing and developing television and film projects, it also has in-house marketing and distribution teams for both domestic and foreign films that are trying to access the Chinese market, currently the world’s second biggest source of box office revenue. Meridian also has a first-look and strategic partnership with James Schamus, the former chief of Focus Features, through his company, Symbolic Exchange. Schamus’ company consulted on the Blumhouse deal.

“Meridian has shown a unique ability to support original and daring films in just a few years and we are excited to be in business with Jennifer and her team,” said Blum in a statement.

More Film

  • Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s

    Colombia’s ‘Valley of Souls’ Wins Marrakech’s Etoile d’Or

    The 18th edition of the Marrakech Intl. Film Festival awarded the Etoile d’Or for best film to Colombia’s “Valley of Souls,” directed by Nicolás Rincón Gille. In his acceptance speech the director said: “Colombia is a country that people know very little about. But in this film I try to offer a glimpse of the [...]

  • SAFF Winners 2019

    ScreenSingapore: Philippines Projects Take Top Prizes at SAFF Market

    Projects from the Philippines took away the top prizes awarded Friday at the conclusion of Screen Singapore’s Southeast Asian Film Financing (SAFF) Project Market. The event is part of the Singapore Media Festival. The winners included director J.P. Habac’s musical comedy drama “Golden” about homeless gay seniors who reunite to perform as drag queens to [...]

  • THE FAVOURITE

    'The Favourite' Wins Big At The 32nd European Film Awards

    Yorgos Lanthimos’s “The Favourite” scooped the 32nd European Film Awards, winning best film, best comedy and best actress for Olivia Colman who previously won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the film. “The Favourite” was leading the nominations along with Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” Marco Bellocchio’s “The Traitor” and Roman [...]

  • Ed-Skrein-Erica-Rivas-Fernando-Trueba-Lucia-Puenzo

    Ventana Sur 2019: Big New Titles, Argentina-Mexico, Deals, Trends

    BUENOS AIRES   —  The last few years have caught Ventana Sur – Cannes Festival and Market’s biggest initiative outside France – taking place as the industry debated radical change. This year saw the Latin American industries in a state of  transformation themselves, wracked by headwinds – Jair Bolsonaro’s government in Brazil – or looking [...]

  • 'Free Guy' Trailer: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie

    'Free Guy': Ryan Reynolds, Taika Waititi, Jodie Comer Star in First Trailer

    The first trailer for Ryan Reynolds’ “Free Guy” premiered Saturday at the CCXP convention in Brazil. Reynolds stars as Guy, a bank teller and NPC (non-playable character) who discovers he’s living in a video game. In the trailer, hostage situations, buildings being blown up and people shooting guns off in the street is depicted as [...]

  • KARMELE

    Asier Altuna Preps Basque Historical Drama ‘Karmele the Hour of Waking Together’

    Basque cinema is booming, and director Asier Altuna is part of the vanguard leading it forward. The Spanish filmmaker, behind 2005 Youth Award winner “Aupa Etxebeste!” and 2015 Best Basque Film “Amama” at the San Sebastián Intl. Film Festival, attended this year’s Ventana Sur Proyecta sidebar with his next project, “Karmele, the Hour of Waking [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content