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With Paranormal Activity turning out to be a massive success, all eyes are on director Oren Peli’s upcoming project, Area 51. Obviously, the film will likely deal with the titular American military base which has been home to all sorts of conspiracies, in particular aliens. Up until now, we’ve heard murmurs that the film was about three teenager exploring Area 51, and that it will employ a similar narrative to Paranormal Activity. Further details remained tightly under wraps–that is until our friends over at Latino Review landed a look at the film’s script/outline.

Potential spoilers for Area 51 after the break.

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Area 51
While covering the American Film Market, Bloody Disgusting discovered the names of the three main cast members for director Oren Peli‘s Area 51, the filmmaker’s follow-up to the indie supernatural thriller viral sensation Paranormal Activity. Peli is not going Hollywood yet, and keeping it low-key, with three virtually unknown actors - Reid Warner, Darrin Bragg and Ben Rovner.

Aside from Warner’s one-episode small guest spots on The Unit and Eli Stone, the trio have been virtually unseen in both movies and television. It seems to me to be a smart move on many levels. First of all it allows Peli to keep the costs low — the estimated budget is around $5 million, which will probably go mostly toward effects. Second of all, not using any established or known actors allows Peli to play with the audience’s perceptions of real/cinema, as he did with Activity.

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Update: In our box office report below, we mentioned the lack of official sequel plans for Paranormal Activity. Well, Paramount has now released a statement from Chairman Brad Grey via LAT: ”We have the rights on a worldwide basis to do Paranormal 2 and we’re looking to see if that makes some sense.” The word ‘some’ has possibly never been needed less in a sentence. Paranormal Activity‘s boffo, record-setting box office is discussed below. We’ll update on the sequel when and if more details come in. In the meantime, what direction should a sequel take?

It had to happen later than sooner: this weekend Lionsgate‘s Saw franchise took a significant tumble with Saw VI opening to a mere $14.8 million from 3,000 theaters, the lowest opening since 2004′s Saw ($18.2m). The prognosis for the grisly torture series might be gloomier if not for its showdown with Paranormal Activity, the year’s biggest movie phenomenon (no small feat), which haunted the top spot after months of escalating buzz with $22 million. That means it’s up two millie over last weekend, while still playing in less than 2,000 theaters. Not only are number-crunchers getting wet over the idea that this indie pick-up from Paramount, budgeted at $13,000 (yeah, thousand), might gross $100 million domestic, but it’s on track to become the most profitable release in the mountainous studio’s history. Word from the clown is: Executives are filming themselves asleep with permagrins, splayed out on beds covered in dollars gold bars.
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Paranormal Activity Director Goes To Area 51

Area 51

Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli‘s next film is no secret — he’s been talking about it since Slamdance. We even mentioned it breifly in a previous posting. But now that Paranormal has become a viral box office sensation, the project has been officially announced in the trades. What is it? Peli is going to Area 51. Details after the jump.

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The Los Angeles Times has published a great article on Paranormal Activity, which features a bunch of interesting tidbits:

  • Steven Spielberg had taken a Paranormal Activity DVD screener to his Pacific Palisades estate, and not long after he watched it, “the door to his empty bedroom inexplicably locked from the inside.” The famous director was forced to call a locksmith, and returned the screener back to Dreamworks in a garbage bag, certain that his copy of the movie was haunted.

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