Leigh Whannell and wife Corbett at the LA premiere of ‘The Invisible Man.’

Leigh Whannell has two reasons to celebrate today: The Invisible Man is the No. 1 title in the US, Australia and several other markets – and the Aussie writer-director has signed a two year, first-look deal with Blumhouse Productions.

The arrangement covers film and TV projects that the co-creator of the Saw and Insidious franchises will write, direct or produce.

The psychological thriller produced by Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum and Goalpost Pictures’ Kylie du Fresne raked in $US28.2 million in the US and $US20.1 million in 47 overseas markets last weekend.

In Australia the Universal release starring Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Storm Reid, Harriet Dyer and Michael Dorman drummed up $2.5 million, according to Numero, plus $1.1 million in Spain and Korea, where takings have been hit by the coronavirus.

Exit polls in the US are strong, with 52 per cent saying they will definitely recommend the movie to their friends while 41 per cent say they’ll probably recommend it.

Whannell is not sure about his next gig, telling The Wrap last week: “Once this film stops and relaxes, I’ll have time to sit on a beach somewhere and think about what I want to do next.”

It’s unlikely to be the long-planned reboot of John Carpenter’s 1981 cult sci-fi classic Escape From New York. Robert Rodriguez signed on in 2017 to direct and last year it was announced that Whannell would write a new draft of the screenplay and possibly direct, with Carpenter as an executive producer. According to Whannell, that project is sitting on the shelf.

Blumhouse founder/CEO Jason Blum said: “Leigh creates movies which not only build franchises but fundamentally change the landscape of their genre. After he and James Wan made Saw, it launched dozens of copycats.

“Their work with Blumhouse on Insidious, founded not just a franchise but dozens of classical proscenium PG-13 supernatural horror films. I have no doubt that will be true for The Invisible Man and for anything else he wants to create. I just want to be there with him when he does.”

Whannell added: “Ten years ago, I walked into Jason Blum’s office thinking that I was having a general meeting with a producer who liked horror movies.

“Little did I know that a decade long partnership and friendship was about to begin. I have since watched his then infant company, Blumhouse, grow into a powerhouse of genre films; a nurturing place that is willing to take risks on people.

“Indeed, they have taken plenty of risks on me and I look forward to taking many more with them as they continue to grow in the world of film and television.”

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