Mattel Magic Ball 8
Blumhouse is no longer a producing partner on Mattel’s planned Magic 8 Ball movie.
On Friday, co-founder and producer Jason Blum told CNBC that the horror production powerhouse was no longer attached to the toymaker’s project.
“We developed it for a while, but we’re not tied down anymore,” he said. “I think they are developing it with someone else. I wish them luck.”
Blum did not go into specifics about why Blumhouse left the project. Representatives for Mattel did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The Magic 8 Ball movie was first announced in 2019 and is one of several projects in development under Mattel Films.
The company recently wrapped production on its Barbie movie with Warner Bros, and also has a Masters of the Universe movie planned with Netflix. There are a dozen other projects in development, including films based on Hot Wheels, Major Matt Mason, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Uno and Barney.
Turning Magic 8 Ball into a horror story may have come as a surprise, but Mattel’s decision to partner with Blumhouse was not.
The studio has set a new standard for horror production in the 21st century that elevates the entire category. Blumhouse is best known for movies like “Paranormal Activity” and Oscar-winning “Get Out,” and its strategy of taking low-budget movies and turning them into huge box office hits.
For example, Blumhouse has partnered with Hasbro to create a movie based on the Ouija board. The film, released in 2014, cost just $5 million to make and grossed over $103 million at the worldwide box office. The sequel “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” released in 2016, cost $9 million to produce and grossed $81.7 million.
As Mattel seeks to control its margins and expand in theatrical entertainment, it will be essential to produce films at a lower cost that can achieve multimillion-dollar success. By working with third-party studios and distributors to bring its toys to life on the big and small screen, while minimizing financial risk.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal distributed “Get Out”.