The sequel to last year’s breakout horror hit easily claims the No. 1 spot at the box office.
Fear has taken hold at the box office with a $41.5 million debut for scary movie “Paranormal Activity 2,” according to studio estimates Sunday.
Paramount Pictures’ follow-up to last year’s micro-budgeted hit “Paranormal Activity” got a jump on Halloween as fans packed theaters for another documentary-style thriller about a household plagued by a menacing spirit.
“Paranormal Activity 2” did nearly half its business on Friday, following the pattern of many fright-flick franchises, which often draw big crowds on opening day then drop off sharply. The movie took in $20.1 million Friday, with receipts falling to $13 million Saturday and $8.4 million Sunday.
The first “Paranormal Activity” rolled out gradually from city to city in a stealth-marketing campaign that built the buzz for the independently produced thriller that was shot for less than $15,000.
By the time the movie went into nationwide release, it had turned into a horror sensation that went on to become a $100 million hit.
The first movie came out of nowhere, and follow-up films to similar surprise smashes sometimes fall flat, such as “The Blair Witch Project” sequel. In its publicity campaign, Paramount tried to maintain an air of mystery around “Paranormal Activity 2.”
“The challenge was to not make the mistake of some other movies of the past, and to treat it as its own very special entity. Even though we went wide with it, we tried to treat it a lot like the first one was treated from a publicity and marketing standpoint,” said Don Harris, the studio’s executive vice president for distribution.
Paranormal Activity 2
Directed by: Tod Williams
Starring: Katie Featherston, Molly Ephraim, Brian Boland, Seth Ginsberg, Sprague Grayden, Vivis Colombetti
Screenplay by: Oren Peli, Michael R. Perry
Production Design by: Jennifer Spence
Cinematography by: Michael Simmonds
Film Editing by: Gregory Plotkin
Costume Design by: Kristin M. Burke
MPAA Rating: R for some language and brief violent material.
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: October 22, 2010
Related Link: Paranormal Activity 2 Full Production Notes