Paranormal Activity: The Math

Paranormal Activity, with its ridiculously slim budget of $15 000, is currently king of the US box office. In the space of five weeks, it has grossed $62 477 000, earning back the puny initial outlay 4165 times over. Ten years ago, The Blair Witch Project cost $60 000 and ended up reaping a cool $248 639 099 worldwide—that’s the budget 4144 times over. Proportionately, Paranormal Activity is already a bigger hit. But can it top that impressive haul of a decade earlier? I thought Blair Witch was terrible, save for the final screamtacular minutes, and the Paranormal Activity trailer is kind of blah. What’s all the fuss about? Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Saw VI opened to an acceptable $14 800 000 this weekend, which means that they’ve recouped the budget. Still, that’s less than half of what Saw V grossed during its opening weekend only one year ago. (If you’ve read OP-dEaD since the beginning, you might remember that I bailed after part four, when the series just got too contrived for its own good.) However, thanks to an eager core audience and low production costs, Saw VI will end up making a healthy profit. And Saw VII was in the works even before this one premiered, so the filmmakers clearly have no intention of stopping.

In other BO news, the weekend top ten contained three other horror movies/thrillers—The Stepfather, Cirque de Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant and Zombieland. It’s encouraging to see darker movies doing so well.

Note: I did the math for this post with numbers from Box Office Mojo, one of the best movie sites on the web. Numbers are fun—whoda thunk it?

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