Hot off the presses!
Deadline just announced that Paramount studios will be extending the life of the Paranormal Activity (PA) franchise, and has greenlit a 5th film, in addition to plans for a yet-untitled spinoff aimed specifically at the Latino audience that will star mostly Latino actors and be shot partly in Spanish.
First, if you're one of many folks wondering why a 5th film is being made, when the 4th one was just released this weekend, all you have to do is look at the numbers. They tell the entire story.
Since the first film in the franchise, the PA movies have been cash-cows for Paramount, when you compare their budgets to the amount of money they grossed.
They are extremely cheap (by Hollywood standards) to make, and they've each earned anywhere from 20 to 50 times what they cost. Imagine hitting that kind of jackpot everytime. Very, very few studio films can make claims like that. And that's Hollywood's modus operandi: make films for the mass market for as little as possible, and hope that they turn a huge profit.
For example, PA 2 had a budget of just $3 million (not including P&A), and ended up grossing over $177 million worldwide (almost half of that was earned in the USA alone); PA 3 cost $5 million and grossed over $205 million worldwide (about half of that in the USA); and the latest, PA 4, also cost $5 million, and, as of this opening weekend, has grossed over $56 million worldwide (about $30 million of that earned in the USA).
And we're not even including income generated in the ancillary markets (DVD, Blu-ray. VOD, digital download, etc).
So with numbers like these, it really should be no surprise that Paramount is moving ahead with another one that'll likely be just as cheap. But maybe the fact that PA 4 opened weaker than the last 2 (although still a strong number) might imply that some audiences are PA'ed out, and decided to sit this one out. Next weekend's box office numbers will tell us if word of mouth will carry this one into $100 million territory as well.
Secondly, regarding the Latino spin-off… Latino audiences have reportedly been strong supporters of the first 3. According to an LA Times report, Paramount's exit data reveals that Latinos make up nearly a third of all PA ticket buyers.
"They really love supernatural stories," said Jason Blum, a producer of all the PA movies – speaking about the Latino audience.
As the LA Times further states…
… the demographics behind "Paranormal Activity" dramatize a trend in movie attendance. According to the most recent industry data compiled by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Latinos account for 25% of cinema guests and attend more frequently than any other slice of the population. The average Latino moviegoer hits the multiplex 5.3 times a year, compared with 3.5 times for whites and 3.7 times for African Americans. In addition to horror titles, Latinos tend to be particularly interested in family films, sometimes accounting for a third of all admissions, equal to their interest in horror.
Read the full report HERE.