Cheap and good

Cheap and good
Actors Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum.

In upcoming flick The Purge, starring Ethan Hawke and Game of Thrones actress Lena Headey, the US is a place of low crime and unemployment in 2022, thanks to an annual 12-hour "purge" in which all criminal activity is legal.

It's a bold concept and was amazingly popular with the US audience when it premiered in June, dethroning Fast & Furious 6 at the box office. That feat is even more amazing when you consider that The Purge was made with a budget of just US$3 million (S$3.8m).

But it's not too surprising considering the film comes from Blumhouse Productions, the same folks who gave the world the Paranormal Activity movies, the first of which made US$200 million worldwide on a US$15,000 budget.

Blumhouse founder Jason Blum, 43, has made very good business out of what he calls "inexpensive and high-concept" movies like Paranormal Activity, in which the haunting of a family is captured on hand-held and closedcircuit television cameras around their house.

"When we keep the price point relatively low, it allows us to take creative risks that higher budget movies are not able to take," he told FiRST over the phone from Los Angeles recently.

"We can bring up new ideas like we did in The Purge and Sinister, and not worry too much about whether they're going to fail."

Last year's Sinister, along with Dark Skies, were both produced by Blum on budgets hovering around the US$3 million mark.

The former made US$81 million at the box office while the latter, though universally panned, earned almost seven times its budget. Business

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