After selling out all its midnight screenings from Thursday-Saturday night this past weekend, Paramount Pictures announced its expanding the low budget horror flick "Paranormal Activity" into 10 new markets brining the nationwide total to 40. The studio will also allow distributors to now play the film at all times beginning on Friday.
"Activity" grossed an eye-popping $535,000 from screenings in 33 cities (almost entirely midnight shows) for an impressive $16,000 average.
In a statement from the studio, Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore said, "The fans have spoken, and we are listening."
With a painfully miniscule marketing budget, the limited release has largely been dictated on requests for the movie on social networks MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. With $780,000 in the bank so far it is still unclear how much "Activity" can to out at. Over a decade ago, "The Blair Witch Project" used a similar word of mouth campaign to generate interest online, but also had a significant marketing budget and television advertising none of which "Activity" has enjoyed (at the moment). With that buzz "Blair Witch" made $140 million in the U.S. alone. Shot for only $15,000 and acquired for far less than $1 million, if "Activity" makes 1/10th of "Blair Witch" they'll be celebrating on Paramount's Melrose lot for weeks.
And yes, nany in the industry will be keeping a watchful eye on next weekend's totals to see if lightening continues to strike twice.
To get showtimes and tickets for "Paranormal Activity," click here.