The Paranormal Activity franchise is like a money tree for Paramount Pictures. The first film was made and acquired for next to nothing (thousands of dollars) and went on to gross over $187 million worldwide. The sequel was rushed into production with a larger budget (estimated $2.75 million), and released the following year, grossing $168 million worldwide. Both films were critically praised, and a lot of people even believe that the second film was better than the first. I would argue that it’s more of the same (which isn’t necessarily bad) but is a story that improves the enjoyment of the first film by contributing quite a bit to the mythology. It also leaves room for another installment, so a third film is a no brainer. Actually Paramount announced an October 21st release date for Paranormal Activity 3 days after the hit theaters. Oren Peli, who directed the original film in the series and produced the second, has finally hired a screenwriter.

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‘Paranormal Activity 3′ Set For October 21, 2011

Briefly: The turnout for Paranormal Activity 2 was good enough that a third film is already in the planning stages. Oren Peli, who directed the original film in the series and produced the second, has told Dread Central that Paramount is setting October 21, 2011 as the release date for Paranormal Activity 3.

We don’t know anything about the story or the creative team, other than the presumed involvement of Mr. Peli. There seems to be a cohesive story coming together in some respect with the second film providing a sort of parallel/prequel tale to the first. It involved the sister of Katie, aka one of the first film’s two lead characters. So this is the point where fans start guessing about whether the third film will move forward in time, or delve back into more of the family’s history, or both. And what of the Japanese ‘parallel sequel,’ Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night? As far as we know, no US release is planned, but don’t be surprised to see it hit DVD, at least.