January 7, 2010 |
Travel the globe this week in the comfort of a darkened theater. The first stop is Ireland, courtesy of the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre, where the country's premier filmmaker, Jim Sheridan, is scheduled to discuss his career and screen his current film, "Brothers," and his well-regarded 2003 drama " In America" on Friday. Two more well-regarded Sheridan films -- with Daniel Day-Lewis -- keep us in the Emerald Isle on Saturday: 1989's "My Left Foot," for which Day-Lewis received his first Academy Award, as painter Christy Brown, and 1993's "In the Name of the Father," for which the actor earned an Oscar nomination as a man unjustly accused of an IRA pub bombing.
January 5, 2010 |
Vampires may be getting all the glory these days, but when it comes to day-in, day-out spooky family entertainment, it's hard to beat ghosts. The popularity of ghost and paranormal stories are nothing new -- from the King's ghost in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" to Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" to the phenomenal box office last fall for "Paranormal Activity." But it's on the small screen that ghosts are most alive -- a staple of the medium, so to speak. The first two hours of CBS' Friday night lineup are devoted to "Ghost Whisperer," now in its fifth season, and "Medium," which joined the network last fall after five seasons on NBC. Both dramatic series revolve around women who can see dead people.
December 1, 2009 |
Paramount Pictures is betting it has the next "Paranormal Activity" on its hands. After weeks of spirited negotiations, the Viacom Inc.-owned studio acquired domestic distribution rights to "Area 51," the next low-budget scare story from "Paranormal Activity" filmmaker Oren Peli. Paramount announced the deal over the weekend, paying an estimated $7.5 million to close the pact, all without seeing any footage from the production. Other bidders included Lionsgate Films, Summit Entertainment and DreamWorks, now a part of Walt Disney Co. DreamWorks bought "Paranormal Activity," which then-partner Paramount released Sept.
November 16, 2009
Estimated sales in the U.S. and Canada: Movie (studio) 3-day gross (millions) Percentage change from last weekend Total (millions) Days in release 1 2012 (Sony) $65 NA $65 3 2 A Christmas Carol (Disney) $22.3 -26% $63.3 10 3 The Men Who Stare at Goats (Overture/BBC/ Winchester Capital)
October 26, 2009 |
Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey had an unusual message for an industry in which taking credit for the latest hit is standard practice. "Evidently we have a situation where you put one foot in front of the other every day at the studio," he said on a conference call with his senior executive team Sunday. "We all work very hard, and every once in a while you find yourself bumping over a miracle." Whatever savvy went into distribution and marketing -- and there was certainly plenty of it -- Paramount indeed has a miracle on its hands with "Paranormal Activity," a movie produced for $15,000 and acquired for $300,000 that vanquished four new pictures with combined production budgets of more than $155 million to finish No. 1 at the box office this weekend.
October 26, 2009 |
Just a few weeks ago, Katie Featherston was balancing plates brimming with spaghetti and baked ravioli, working as a waitress at Buca di Beppo at Universal CityWalk. Micah Sloat was a struggling actor/computer programmer living in North Hollywood. Now, they're watching the micro-budget horror movie they filmed three years ago develop into a full-blown phenomenon. The two play the young couple haunted by a spectral force in the breakout hit "Paranormal Activity." The suspenseful supernatural thriller, reminiscent of "The Blair Witch Project," has become one of the year's biggest success stories.
October 22, 2009 |
Moviegoers can expect a real horror show in theaters this weekend, but the fierce duel isn't between some ax-wielding assassin and a resourceful teen. Instead, it's a showdown between the scary-movie powerhouses "Saw VI" and "Paranormal Activity." Prognosticators say the clash for box-office supremacy could be remarkably close, with several giving a slight advantage to the micro-budget, essentially homemade "Paranormal Activity," which continues to defy all expectations, even within Paramount.
October 12, 2009 |
Both old-fashioned movie marketing and modern digital buzz helped drive a surprisingly strong weekend at the box office. Universal's romantic comedy "Couples Retreat," supported by such tried-and-true promotional efforts as an all-expenses-paid tropical press junket, topped the charts this weekend with an impressive $35.3 million, according to studio estimates. Paramount's "Paranormal Activity," meanwhile, relied on word of mouth and Internet marketing to smash the box-office record for a movie playing at fewer than 200 theaters.
October 8, 2009 |
The positive buzz about this micro-budget spectral thriller started building at a Park City, Utah, film festival, word of mouth spread quickly via the Internet, early nationwide college-town screenings sparked even more interest, and a slowly expanding theatrical release fed the flames. It's the model that made "The Blair Witch Project" a cultural phenomenon and box-office blockbuster exactly a decade ago, and it's a carefully crafted plan that Paramount Pictures is following nearly to the letter with "Paranormal Activity."
October 3, 2009 |
Just for the record, the time to tell your significant other that an evil force has been stalking you since you were 8 is long before you're engaged and have moved in together. I'm not suggesting the whole demon/ghost/unidentified whatever is a deal breaker, but it should at least get a mention. Consider the case of Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), the young couple at the terrifying center of "Paranormal Activity." By the time Katie tells Micah about her "problem" and by the time Micah takes it seriously, that "thing that goes bump in the night" has really built up a head of steam.