Jason Blum Thinks M3GAN Highlights The Importance Of Horror Films In Hollywood

In a landscape where it seems like only comic book films and massive franchise movies can be successful at the box office, at least the horror genre is getting along perfectly fine. Horror movies are unique in that they're typically sold more on their premise than their star power, and they're also usually able to be made at a much cheaper budget than most blockbusters. Not to mention, horror movies are way more fun when watched in a crowded theater, as opposed to alone at home where there's an unexplained noise coming from the other room.

The most recent example of the horror genre's resilience is "M3GAN," a fun, campy horror film about an AI doll who decides to go on a killing rampage. "M3GAN" slayed at the box office, easily earning back its budget within a single weekend. Although there are some qualms about the movie's decision to tone things down in order to avoid an R-rating, most people agree that it's still a fun, spooky time. The extra accessibility that comes with a lower rating may very well have been the big thing that explains its success compared to most horror films. For producer Jason Blum, however, the triumph of "M3GAN" has more to do with the quality of the film itself.

"The audience is starved for fun, entertaining [movies]. There's not enough," Blum explained to Deadline. "If you make the right movie, and make it the right way, the audience is there." At a time where people constantly fret over the decline of cinema, "M3GAN" has proved that horror is a vital part of Hollywood, one that's largely separate from the overall trend of studios treating movies more like content instead of art.

Appealing to the youths

It's not just quality that allowed "M3GAN" to exceed box office expectations, either. It also managed to pull in an audience that was 53% women, and 44% under the age of 25, both of which are demographics that are often perceived as being unreliable target audiences. "Everyone has been saying that we've lost the under-25 crowd," said Jason Blum. "'M3GAN' is a clear indication that we have not."

The PG-13 rating helped reel in that youth demographic, of course, but the clever promotions for the movie definitely did a lot of work. The marketing team didn't just settle for ads on TV; they had real life dancers dressing up as Megan and performing in public places, in addition to NFL games and late night talk-shows. It's clear that a ton of effort and thought was put into the marketing campaign for this film, which is genuinely refreshing given the sheer number of movies that quietly flop because the general public had barely even heard about them.

If "M3GAN" ends up getting a sequel, which seems increasingly likely at this point, Universal Pictures and Blumhouse probably won't need to resort to this level of high-effort promotion next time around. M3GAN is now a beloved, easily recognizable character, and it's going to be easier to sell audiences on a followup now that the first movie's already been a success. Still, we hope that the creative, outside-the-box marketing for the inevitable "M3GAN" franchise never goes away, and we hope that other studios take note.