Sunday, October 23, 2011

Paranormal's Activity

I usually try to avoid tackling the business aspect of filmmaking, because it should matter very little, but in these days, where cinemas are hurting, it's important to note a hit.  In the hope that it continues to cultivate the richness of watching a movie (of whatever quality) in a dark room full of strangers.  And as recent weeks have been sluggish in movie-land, it's even more of note.  The third installment of the Paranormal Activity (this one a prequel from the pranksters behind the similarly marketed as truth whatchamacallit Catfish) franchise achieved a wondrous opening gross of $26.2 million, including $8 million from midnight screenings held the night before.  It marks the highest single day gross of the franchise, as well as forty-eighth single day gross of all time, third of the 2011, behind only Harry Potter and Transformers.  Not too shabby to the horror series that dethroned the endlessly sadistic Saw franchise, and even more icing to the cheap gift to Paramount this picture keeps on giving; production cost is reportedly only $5 million.  And while, I personally have little interest here (horror only garners excitement from me under particular circumstances), it's nice for movie screens to be busy again after weeks of blahness, despite decent grosses for smart, more adult-driven fare like Moneyball, 50/50 and The Ides of March (all three have held well with drops of less than 30% in there successive weeks; however all lack that crowd-pleasing element that will make them sleeper hits; ode to racial servitude-- lame The Help reference, aside.)  Paranormal Activity 3 will also have the biggest opening since, gasp-- Rise of the Planet of the Apes which opened to $54 million all the way back in the first weekend of the August.  Of course, it will drop like crazy, horror films always do (front-loaded opening days, followed by precipitous drops thereafter); franchise films tend to as well.

My cinematic pretension gets the better of me sometimes, so here's hoping that the meditative character study thriller Martha Marcy May Marlene at the very least accrues the highest screen average of the weekend.

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