With nearly $600 million in combined ticket sales for the first three entries, Paramount’s announcement that they’re ordering up another installment in the ultra-lucrative “Paranormal Activity” horror franchise (with absolutely zero details, of course) isn’t exactly a surprise. Much like the “Saw” series last decade, the “Paranormal Activity” films have become a cinematic tradition in the weeks leading up to Halloween, and quite frankly it’s difficult to see an end to that cycle considering that the most expensive film yet in the series, last year’s “Paranormal Activity 3”, cost only $5 million and took in nearly $203 million worldwide – a record amount for the franchise.
Indeed, Lionsgate’s similarly-inexpensive “Saw” franchise ended only after it finally appeared to be running out of steam, with 2009’s “Saw VI” grossing a disappointing $27 million Stateside – down from the series-high $87 million domestic taken in by “Saw II” in 2005. It’ll definitely be interesting to see whether there’s a significant drop-off in attendance for “Paranormal Activity 4”, particularly considering that “Saw IV” (domestic gross: $63 million) was the first film in that franchise to show major signs of audience fatigue.
Perhaps Paramount can temporarily avoid the same trap (no pun intended) by shaking things up in the “Paranormal” world this time around, and yet it’s hard to deny that the strategy of releasing a new film every single year can’t help but ultimately fall victim to the law of diminishing returns.
What do you think of Paramount’s plans for a fourth “Paranormal Activity” movie? Will you turn up on opening weekend, or will it depend on the approach they take with the film? Sound off below!