Paranormal Activity 2: Paramount Wants It, But Would It Work?
This seems to be the height of what we might call non-news, but since we have not yet reported on this ever-developing story, it’s worth saying something. On an earnings call this morning, Viacom CEO Phillipe Dauman said that Paramount Pictures is working on a sequel to the runaway horror hit of 2009, which was made for $15,000 and has grossed over $85 million at the box office.
Of course, this isn’t exactly new news. Paramount has been looking at a sequel ever since the film made its wide release and stayed in the box office top five for four weekends in a row now. Paramount head Brad Grey told The LA Times on October 25th that they do have the rights to Paranormal 2 and are “looking to see if it makes sense” to do a sequel.
And that’s the big question, isn’t it? Does it make sense to do a sequel to Paranormal Activity? History says no, as the similarly successful breakout hit The Blair Witch Project spawned a sequel called Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, which was made for $15 million and grossed $26 million domestically in 2000, just over a year after The Blair Witch Project raked in over $140 million in its domestic run.
Logic also says no. Given the way the first film ended (to avoid spoilers, we’ll just say that it ends pretty definitively and is a completed story), the general idea behind a sequel would have to either be a prequel (which would hold no weight) and/or a separate, but similar story about someone being tortured by a demonic spirit. Either way, I can’t see a reason to attach the Paranormal Activity name to such a project, other than the obvious cash-grab reasons. If Paramount can figure out a way to get a creative, innovative sequel off the ground, then they deserve to have success. Unfortunately, I just don’t see how that’s possible.