I always feel a little bit dodgey doing jokes about box office results. I always fear that it plays a little to inside and the numbers really aren’t that important to the average movie goer. Box office results only matter to the studios, the filmmakers and the movie bloggers desperate for something to talk about.
That said, I’m REALLY pleased that Paranormal Activity beat out Saw VI at the box office this weekend (I pretty much begged for these results on last Monday’s The Triple Feature).
Paranormal Activity earned $22 million over Saw VI’s $14.8 million. That’s quite a smackdown. Especially when you consider Saw VI was on over 1,000 more screens than its competitor and Paranormal Activity was in it’s second week of screenings. Smelling blood in the water, critics are already starting to wonder out loud if this is the end of the Saw franchise.
If you enjoy the Saw movies, then that’s your prerogative. I guess what I’ve resisted is the ritualistic behavior of “Whoops! It’s Halloween! Time to see another Saw movie!” It doesn’t leave a lot of room for innovation. Considering what a jolt to the system the original Saw was, I think it’s a disappointing fall from grace for the franchise to be another by-the-numbers torture porn money maker for Lionsgate.
Then again, Lionsgate as a studio isn’t really known for restraint. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they will run this franchise into the ground after wringing every last possible dollar from it.
It should be noted that Paramount is already considering a sequel to Paranormal Activity. Considering it cost about $15,000 and has earned nearly $64 million at the box office so far, that’s not surprising.
I don’t think fans have to worry about Paramount running this franchise into the ground like Lionsgate has with Saw, though. With an eye toward history, the last time this kind of word-of-mouth phenomenon occured, it was for The Blair Witch Project. When Artisan Pictures turned around a sequel immediately following the original, they gave us Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 and it tanked… hard. I could see something similar happening to Paranormal Activity if Paramount isn’t smart.
When phenomenon like this occur, people are reacting to more than just a really good horror movie. I think they’re connecting with the authenticity of it. More than other splatter-fests with no-name actors and unkillable boogeymen, I think the reason Paranormal Activity is crossing over from traditional horror fans into the mainstream is because of its rags to riches story compounded by the excellent word-of-mouth. The idea being “If they can scare the living daylights out of hard-core horror fans with a budget of $15,000, then this must be something to see.”
Long story short, I think if Paramount tries to put lightning in a bottle twice, they going to get electrocuted.
In other news, Theater Hopper: Year One and Year Two were reviewed over at This Week in Webcomics – which is timely, becuase I’m planning another major push to get Theater Hopper: Year Three published by the end of the year.
Noting the success of my friend Gordon’s fund raising for the first print collection of Multiplex using Kickstarter (not to mention the success of Spike from Templar, AZ in her fund raising efforts has convinced me to utilize Kickstarter as a tool to help me meet my goals. So stay tuned for news there.
In the meantime, please go read the book reviews over at This Week in Webcomics. They put a lot of thought and effort into them and I think you’ll enjoy their insights.
In the meantime, I hope you make plans to listen to The Triple Feature movie podcast tonight at 9:00 PM CST at TalkShoe.com. We’ll be talking about Saw VI and, well… I’m not sure what else! But it’ll be a good time, that’s for sure! I look forward to it every Monday night. Be there!
I am sick and tired of there being a new Saw movie that comes out every year and is - by default - "the" halloween movie everyone is supposed to care about.
You say that, but it won't be long before they make a sequel to Paranormal Activity and you'll be looking for another movie to replace the franchise.
5 YEARS LATER...
I am so glad Disco Ghost beat out Paranormal Activity 6 at the box office this weekend!