Paramount Claims to Find Next 'PARANORMAL ACTIVITY'February 4, 2011 0 Comments
Paramount Insurge made its first acquisition, a movie titled THE DEVIL INSIDE from new director William Brent Bell. Inspired by the success of the ongoing PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, franchise, Insurge is a new division of Paramount tasked to locate micro-budget films with multi-million dollar box office potential. Why not, if you can sell $108 million in domestic tickets on a movie that only cost $15,000? Like PARANORMAL, the new movie is also shot in documentary-style about a woman who travels to Italy and films several underground exorcisms.
Regardless whether movie-goers eventually get sick of the fake documentary gimmick, the truth is that studios make money hand-over-fist on movies budgeted under a certain threshold, and that threshold is higher than you might suspect. This is one of the open secrets for why budget conscious directors such as Robert Rodriguez have been able to do whatever they please in the past.
For example, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT was made for $25,000 but acquired by Artisan for $1.1 million, who then spent $25 million to market it. A 1 to 4 million budget is pretty much what a movie studio would spend to make a Direct-to-DVD Horror these days, and those titles are proven moneymakers. But, if such a movie goes into mainstream theatres, as you can see from THE BLAIR WITCH example, the only real expense is promotion and advertising. So, it's all gravy. In addition, whenever indie filmmakers risk time and money to make a movie, there's a real possibility that the end-product is bad quality. That's another risk the studios don't have to assume. They already know what they're getting for their $1 million bucks.
Congratulations to William Brent Bell. THE DEVIL INSIDE will star the lovely Fernada Andrade.