The New York Times

If you have not yet heard of the horror movie “Paranormal Activity,” you will soon. It is about to become the first major studio film to be released nationwide as the result of online requests from the public.

The film is about a young couple who become convinced that a demonic presence lurks in their bedroom at night, so they decide to set up a video camera to catch it. The movie was shot on an extremely low budget of $10,000 and opened at the end of September with midnight screenings in just 13 small college towns.

From there, it has become a Web sensation, with chatter about the movie bouncing from Twitter to Facebook, spurring a coming nationwide release.

The net is having more of an impact all the time.

  1. esoterroriffik says:

    So what’s the difference in marketing between this and “Snakes On a Plane”?

  2. hhopper says:

    Snakes on a Plane was released nationwide. This film was released in only 16 locations.

  3. Thinker says:

    Looks like the Blair Witch Project pt.2!

  4. Wretched Gnu says:

    C’mon now, hhopper. Gullible much? The little “grassroots” narrative you’re passing along is part of a carefully planned marketing campaign.

  5. Unimatrix0 says:

    #4 – I doubt that very seriously…that would indicate that Hollywood has half a brain and we all know for a fact that they don’t have two brain cells to rub together.

  6. hhopper says:

    Yeah, I read the article. It shows the impact of the Internet.

    Here’s the Demand it site.

  7. Angel H. Wong says:

    And then they’re going to make a sequel and ruin the whole damn thing.

  8. GigG says:

    They aren’t even using the established internet move sites very well.

  9. Tim says:

    …. if they were smart they would sell the DVD for $15.00 on the way out of the movie. But no, they will let this become the forgettable movie it is and capitalize on nothing because they think it’s a hit.

    Movie studio execs rarely know earlier when they have a piece of shit on their hands.

  10. The Warden says:

    If this truly cost 10K to make, the makers of the film hit the jack pot as it’s already made 7.9 million dollars showing on just 160 screens nationwide.

  11. The Warden says:

    My bad, make that 9.1 million dollars.

  12. kap says:

    #4 is right, and thanks #6 for the link. The whole thing is a scam. I just looked at the whois for the demand it site, and it’s owned by Paramount Pictures. Very clever marketing indeed.

  13. sargasso says:

    I tried twitter, the only people who followed me looked like hookers and flashers. Maybe that’s an under-exploited market base for Hollywood?

  14. chuck says:

    #10,11 it may have brought in $9.1 million, but after Hollywood accounting, expect it be unprofitable.

  15. Film Critic says:

    Oh, God! Deliver us from crap like this.

  16. Glenn E. says:

    Pul-lease! A “major studio film” this ISN’T! This latest release experiment isn’t too different or risk taking, as that one they did a couple of years ago. Where they released a movie in theaters and on DVDs, at the same time. But they only did that once. And I can’t even remember the movie’s title. That’s big a deal that movie WASN’T. This Blair Witch wannabe won’t break anyone’s bank for appearing online. But it would be great if more independent films were allowed to have this non-theatrical distribution. Don’t count on it. Anything “nationwide” is too wide to be allowed to flourish.

  17. ramuno says:

    This was shot by a guy in San Diego California for a very low budget. Despite the lack of special effects, he got the attention of Spielberg’s studio because of his skill at creating tension. The studio decided to copy the Blair Witch marketing campaign to create the “demand.” Clever major studio marketing!


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