Paramount’s low-budget horror flick Paranormal Activity slashed its way to the top of the weekend box office, slaying Lions Gate’s competing horror film Saw VI. Paranormal Activity, which was reportedly filmed for just $15,000, has now reportedly raked in over $60 million since the movie’s initial release.
In a brilliant marketing scheme, Paramount initially released Paranormal Activity to only a small selection of theaters nationwide. Then they launched a massive media campaign on TV and the Internet telling fans to “demand” the movie be released in their city. As fan response grew, the studio released the movie in more and more theaters, first cracking into the top ten box office films two weeks ago.
This weekend, with the film playing in 1,945 theaters across the country, Paranormal Activity swept the box office, landing the number one spot in theaters. Lions Gate Entertainment’s Saw VI couldn’t compete with the buzz, falling short and landing in the second spot for its debut in theaters this weekend. Saw VI‘s debut was especially sad because it played in over 1,000 more theaters than Paranormal Activity. Fail!
Last week’s top film, Where the Wild Things Are, fell hard to third place in the top ten, followed by Law Abiding Citizen, starring Gerard Butler and the Universal comedy Couples Retreat.