John Horn writes on the Company Town blog that “Paranormal Activity” has seized the attention of young horror fans in a big way and reminds some people of a box-office haunting from a decade ago. Here’s an excerpt with links added by me. — Geoff Boucher
When Blum saw long lines snaking around the ArcLight Hollywood last weekend for midnight showings of writer-director Oren Peli’s $15,000 tale of things that go bump in the night, he choked up. Had he visited the box offices selling tickets for this coming weekend’s late-night showings, Blum might start bawling like a baby.
After taking the movie to a dozen college towns for a series of midnight-only screenings last week, Paramount Pictures is cautiously expanding the film’s release, adding another 21 cities. The film will be shown in midnight-only screenings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and theater owners say few seats are left. The ArcLight (which has other late-night screenings besides midnight) already has sold out many of this weekend’s shows.
“The sales are incredible,” says Maurice Peel, a manager at Santa Cruz’s Nickelodeon & Del Mar Theatres. “We are looking to sell out every show this weekend.”
“People are coming from Pittsburgh, Indianapolis — four or five hours away,” says Eric Brembeck, the owner of the Studio 35 Cinema & Drafthouse in Columbus, Ohio. The demand for “Paranormal Activity” is so strong, Brembeck says, that he’s thinking of finally getting an online ticketing service for his 300-seat auditorium.
“I haven’t seen anything like this for a long time,” says Michael Stockhaus, a senior manager at the AMC Loews Universal Cineplex 20 in Orlando. “The level of excitement — I can’t compare it to anything. You just didn’t see it coming…”
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– John Horn
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