This Friday, Paramount Pictures will continue to push the box office smash Paranormal Activity further and wider, opening the film officially in 40 cities nationwide after several weeks of midnight screenings that have yielded over $750,000 dollars in box office receipts. That doesn’t sound like much, but consider this: the film has (a) only been playing midnight shows in select cities and (b) only cost $11,000 to make. Not to mention the fact that Paramount has been employing a new ‘Demand It’ release strategy via Evenful, allowing fans to bring the film to their city through the power of democracy.
And now, the writer/director behind this scary-as-shit phenomenon is using the success of Paranormal to jettison his next project, a “found footage” style film focused on Area 51. Director Oren Peli is re-teaming with the same producers he worked with on Paranormal to bring the story of “Area 51,” the legendary top secret facility of Nellis Air Foce Base in Nevada, to life. According to a report from Variety, the story will follow three teens whose curiosity leads them to the notorious secret area, where all kinds of weird shit is bound to happen.
When asked for a comment, Peli was decidedly quiet about the forthcoming project, for which he has secured $5 million in financing (a major upgrade from the $11,000 budget of Paranormal.) “I’d rather not say anything about Area 51,” he said. “Except that I am very pleased to be working with the same team who stood by me for the two or three years it took ‘Paranormal Activity’ to get into theaters.”
It is a risky venture, staying with the same style of narrative and moving from one suspicious phenomenon to another, but I have to give Peli credit for striking while the iron is hot. I am also sure that like me, fans will be eager to see what happens when the director is given more money to work with, especially with a potentially creature/alien-filled feature about Area 51. For those potential detractors, lets just be glad that he’s not following in the footsteps of the guys behind The Blair Witch Project…
Have you seen Paranormal Activity? If so, are you excited about Oren Peli taking his lo-fi directing style to Area 51?