Marvel's Avengers Endgame cost 220 million dollars to make. Pixar's Toy Story an estimated 200 million. Blumhouse movies cost 5 million.
One way to pay for less is to actually get less. The original Moneyball baseball team could have paid for average high school pitchers and hitters but the team would have been bad. The Moneyball approach is to pay for less but get more.
For the early Moneyball baseball teams the secret was in finding metrics that mattered but weren't measured, like walks. For movies the secret is finding biases that don't matter but are minded. Blum relies on recency:
“James Wan and Leigh (Whannell) had done Saw together and they came in my office and pitched Insidious and James had done two movies for universal that hadn’t worked very well and I think Hollywood judges all of us too harshly on our last work as opposed to our body of work.”
For context Wan's Wikipedia page titles these phases: debut, setback, resurgence (working with Blum), and breakthrough success.
Moneyball works because it avoids a market mechanism. This is part-of-the-reason markets hinder bargain buyers. About venture capital Jerry Neumann said, “So how do you win, how can you make money if the dumbest guy in the room is the one setting the price?”
It's also an asymmetric approach for Blum and his team. If a five million dollar movie 'fails' and goes straight to the streaming and downloading services they'll probably get their money back, half from domestic and have from international deals. But when the model hits it's like a winning lotto ticket.