‘Paranormal Activity’ may be stirring up a ‘Blair Witch’-style success

Oct. 02, 2009 | 2:52 p.m.

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

Producer Jason Blum spent nearly two years bringing the ultra-low-budget thriller “Paranormal Activity” to theaters. “It finally feels,” he says, “like we’re entering the third act.”

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…”


— John Horn



A decade later: What is the legacy of ‘Blair Witch’?

How “Paranormal Activity” beat the Hollywood odds (and spooked Spielberg)

Guest blog: Jaime King hits bottom on the set of ‘Mother’s Day’

Maggots, vomit and mud: Sam Raimi dragged his new star through hell

‘Exorcist’ director William Friedkin lists the 13 scariest movies ever

Wes Craven on the ‘inheritance of violence’

Undead and unasleep: Rob Zombie’s long nights


One Response to ‘Paranormal Activity’ may be stirring up a ‘Blair Witch’-style success

  1. Another movie that is coming out that offers a clean alternative is ‘’Paranormal.’’ Below is some additional information about this new thriller!!
    Paranormal, the latest supernatural thriller from Cross Shadow Productions, (the
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    Following the success of family-friendly suspense/thriller The Exorcism of Emily
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    SyFy television series, Ghost Hunters and Frank Peretti's House (Roadside
    Attractions / Lionsgate).
    Paranormal follows best-selling, self-made novelist Greg Evans struggling through the worst case of writer's block in his award-winning career. In a desperate search for
    inspiration, Greg quickly finds himself immersed in a world he is not prepared to face.
    Turning to a group of paranormal investigators, Greg and the ghost hunting team search for proof and answers, yet are unaware they are about to have an experience of a
    lifetime! None will leave the way they came. Paranormal will peel back the supernatural curtain to reveal how The TRUTH will EXPOSE the darkness!

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