With Paranormal Activity, the comparisons to The Blair Witch Project films just keep on coming. Like Blair Witch, 2009′s Little Film That Could was made on a shoestring budget and cleverly marketed into mega-success. Now, Paramount has hired a writer and director for the film currently called Paranormal Activity 2. Just as when Artisan made the Blair Witch sequel, the studio is keeping original Paranormal creators Jason Blum and Oren Peli on the payroll as producers, but is giving the reigns to different talent. In this case, said talent happens to be screenwriter Michael R. Perry and director Kevin Greutert, the latter of which you may recall directed the most recent Saw film. Read More »
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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