Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
October 23, 2012
Kim Hollis: Paranormal Activity 4 will become yet another hugely profitable film in the Paramount franchise. It earned $29 million this weekend, far short of Paranormal Activity 3's $52.6 million. What do you take from this result?
Matthew Huntley: This figure makes me both happy and sad. It makes me happy because it means the franchise's audience is finally declining, or at least tired of the same old gimmicks, which this latest sequel employs (I saw the movie on Friday and it doesn't do anything new or exciting). Therefore, the studio may now be tempted to close up shop on the PA series and move onto something else. That's good for those of us who like quality over profit.
On the other hand, it makes me sad because the movie will, as Kim said, become another hugely profitable film (even more so when its international numbers are taken into account, which are currently higher than average) and we can easily expect a PA 5 this time next year. Frankly, the studio would stupid not to make it, as it would be a good business decision. Unfortunately, the creative energy will be all but sucked dry by then, and that's not good for us.
Bruce Hall: Let's look at this another way. Paranormal Activity 4 cost around $5 million to make. To date, it has earned almost $30 million domestically and $26 million internationally. If you could spend $5 and make $56, using little more than the effort it took you to pull the bill out of your wallet, you would be giddy with delight. You would also continue to do it again and again until it stopped working, and probably once more after that just to be sure.
You can also make a horror movie that way and as you can see, it's often pretty profitable.
Felix Quinonez Jr.: If a movie makes six times its production budget on its opening weekend, there's nothing else to call it but a huge success. Sure, legs are pretty much of out of the question but that doesn't even matter. We'll be having this same discussion next year. I will say this though I am surprised by how much of its opening weekend audience it lost from the last entry. It was pretty much guaranteed to open less than PA3 but a $22 million drop is more than anyone could have expected. But like I said it's still a huge success and this opening still guarantees that this franchise will keep on going.
Edwin Davies: I'd say this is undeniable proof that audience fatigue has set in with the Paranormal Activity franchise, much as it did with the Saw films at the same point in that series' life span. It happens to pretty much any horror series that goes on long enough, but since both followed the film-a-year schedule they probably burned off the goodwill of casual fans a lot more quickly. Now we seem to be getting down to the core of fans who will see the series no matter what, and fortunately that group is large enough to guarantee a huge return on investment for the studio. Whilst this result is a step back for the series both in terms of opening weekend and most likely final total, it's hardly a fatal blow. As long as the budgets stay low, I expect we'll see a Paranormal Activity film each Halloween for the next two or three years at least, maybe longer if no one stumbles across a new replicable horror idea to take down Paranormal Activity the same way that Paranormal Activity took down Saw.