A few weeks back, I noted
that the low-budget (but highly-profitable) Paranormal Activity
movie might teach Paramount a thing or two about how the business of making movies could succeed without spending millions on big stars and overly-expensive sets. However, it doesn't look like that was the lesson learned here. Paramount's CEO Philippe Dauman was recently interviewed about the success of the movie and talked about plans to make a sequel
that he said would require the right marketing to ensure a benefit to Paramount. There's also the following insight into Dauman's strategy:
Asked by an analyst if the "Paranormal" model of a low-cost, high-box office film could be easily replicated with other releases, he said no, pointing to how much time passed between similar surprise hit "The Blair Witch Project" and "Paranormal."
So apparently, the decade that passed between Blair Witch and Paranormal makes for some kind of justification that low-budget movies can't be made profitably at will. Um. But couldn't that decade also be interpreted to mean that a studio should want to try more
low-budget productions, more
frequently? I can certainly understand that Paramount might not want to adopt a "throw everything at the wall to see what sticks" kind of business model for its movies. However, the existence of two huge box office hits that were produced for a pittance sounds more like proof that such a business model could work -- not a "lightning sometimes strikes twice" argument against
making low-cost movies. But on the other hand, looking at the returns from the $15 million sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
, that release grossed
almost $48 million worldwide... and there's talk of another sequel for Blair Witch on the way. The scary ending to this story appears to be an endless cycle of horror movie sequels.