When Paramount studios bought the distribution rights to “Paranormal Activity,” it’s hard to say if they knew what they were getting into. The little indie horror that cost $15,000 to make and only $300,000 to acquire is approaching the $100M mark in domestic sales, actually giving it a run for the single most profitable feature of Paramount history. So I feel like I can personally visualize the reaction in the boardroom when the brass got together and someone threw out the idea for a sequel: a resounding “DUH!” Of course they’re (maybe) making a sequel! Check the details and why Paramount may have an uphill battle after the jump.
According to the LA Times entertainment blog, there are many compelling reasons for Paramount to want a sequel. First, the concept is inexpensive–the original cost less than a tenth of a million, and even if they multiply its budget by a hundred, it’d still be considered a “low budget” feature. The second and more compelling reason is that, although Paramount owns the domestic rights to the franchise now, they’d own international right to the sequel, so if it also does big business, that just means even more unprecedented returns.
Now, this isn’t to say scrounging up a sequel to “Paranormal Activity” will be all fun and games. Without divulging any specifics, anyone who’s seen the film is probably wondering the same thing as I did when I heard this story: How the hell are they going to follow it up? Will it be a new household and a new series of hauntings, or can we expect a character or two to reprise their roles? Also, undoubtedly one of the coolest aspects of the original was its untouched, YouTube-esque feel, so there’s certainly reason to worry that that might get lost with a Hollywood hand controlling the production.
Still, “Paranormal Activity” is a very cool concept executed masterfully, and I think a sequel that stays true to the look and feel of the original is definitely not a bad idea. The original is a film that has the potential to really change the horror genre as we know it, and I think further exploration of that style is just what we need.