No-Budget "Paranormal Activity" Kills the Competition

"Paranormal Activity" scared up $21.1 million over the weekend

By Scott Weber
|  Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 3:03 PM PDT
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The no-budget "Paranormal Activity" sliced and diced it's big budget rival, "Saw VI" at the pre-Halloween weekend box office, according to figures released Monday.

It only took $15,000 for Israeli-born video game designer turned film director Oren Peli to make "Paranormal Activity." But a unique twist separated this film in the dime-a-dozen low budget horror genre: In American Idol fashion, the audience decided the movie's fate.

Due to it's low budget, wary studio execs decided to screen the film in a handful of theaters. Movie goers were encouraged to go to the film's website and tell others to "demand it" in their local theater. The campaign worked-- 200,000 people responded and the film went nationwide.

"Paranormal Activity" scared up $21.1 million over the weekend to boost its domestic take in five weeks to $61.5 million, according to Hollywood.Com Box-Office.

"Saw VI" opened in second place with a weekend haul of $14.1 million, followed by "Where the Wild Things Are" ($14 million), "Law Abiding Citizen" ($12.4 million) and "Couples Retreat" ($10.6 million).

The dozen top-grossing films generated a combined $105.9 million over the weekend.

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