The reports obviously keep on coming in about the continuing box office success of two popular movies, the super-low-budget Paranormal Activity and Michael Jackson’s This Is It. However, it’s come to a point to take note of the milestones achieved by each film: Paranormal Activity has crossed the $100 million mark domestically, and This Is It has made $200 million worldwide.
We’ll start off with Oren Peli’s low-budget supernatural horror-thriller, which has been touted (including by our own Kofi Outlaw) as a genuinely creepy film (or totally hated on for being “lame”). It opened in U.S. theaters on October 16th (after many very limited screenings that got some serious word-of-mouth going) and the last time we reported on its money-making success, it had reached the $87 million mark.
However, in an official press release from Paramount comes the news that Paranormal Activity‘s $100 million achievement makes it the highest grossing R-Rated thriller of the last ten years, and places it comfortably at the #5 spot of highest-grossing horror/supernatural releases of all time. That is a HECK of an achievement for a film that was made for less than $15,000, I think you’ll agree.
Here’s some of the press release from Paramount, where Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Brad Grey, talks about the success of the film:
“What is truly amazing about PARANORMAL ACTIVITY is the depth of commitment from fans who demanded to see it… Adam Goodman, our head of production, believed in the film and championed it from the very first screening. This box-office milestone is also a testament to Oren Peli’s considerable talents as a filmmaker. All of us at Paramount are proud to have been involved with his revolutionary project.”
If you’re interested, you can read the rest of the press release over at /Film.
Paranormal Activity has still to open in my neck of the woods (Scotland, UK), but that will change in a couple of weeks (it opens November 25th here). I’ve heard a lot of good things about it, and I look forward to seeing what the people involved have gotten out of such a low-budget film, and, of course, just to see for myself what all the fuss is about. It’s made A LOT of money so far, particularly in comparison to the minuscule (in movie budget terms) amount of money it had to play with. Good for it, I say.
How about Michael Jackson’s This Is It? Keep Reading…
And so we move on to another popular film, the assembled last-ever footage of the late, great, Michael Jackson. Controversial initial projections from AEG (the concert promoter for what would have been Jackson’s last tour if he hadn’t passed away) said that the film would gross $250 million in five days, something which was quickly shot down by the studio, Sony. The film didn’t quite hit that mark, grossing about $100 million in its first five days, which is still not bad for a film patched together from rehearsal footage of a never-performed music concert.
However, fast forward almost another two weeks and Paramount Pictures has announced that This Is It has crossed the $200 million worldwide box office mark. The film has taken $61 million domestically, and a whopping $140 million internationally. Particular markets where the film has been successful include Japan ($27.2 million), UK ($14.3 million), Germany ($12.1 million), France ($12.1 million) and Australia ($7.2 million).
Here’s what Jeff Blake, Chairman of Sony Pictures Worldwide Marketing and Distribution had this to say about the film and its success:
“Moviegoers and film critics everywhere have truly embraced this celebration of Michael Jackson and his music. This special film documents Michael’s creative genius. We are seeing repeat business throughout the world because this movie is so rich with Michael performing his most renowned and recognized songs while offering such a unique, never-before-seen perspective on his artistry. Kenny Ortega and the filmmaking team did a brilliant job of capturing Michael creating a masterwork and it’s a genuine thrill to see audiences respond to the film as they have.”
I saw This Is It last week, and even as someone who wasn’t a die hard Jackson fan (I dug his music, but I wouldn’t go crazy over it), I still really appreciated seeing the last ever footage of him up on stage, doing what he did best. And I’m not surprised other people have shared my sentiment and headed out to see the film, evidently in large numbers.
Once the film leaves theaters (it was originally supposed to run for just two weeks, but look at what box office success does…), I’m confident it will do well on DVD, particularly with die-hard MJ fans, who will watch the swan song of a legendary performer again and again (and again and again…).
SIDE NOTE: This Is It will be released on DVD sometime in 2010 after it was pushed back from its original December release date.
What do you think of the success of both Paranormal Activity and This Is It? Have you seen either of them? Do they deserve the success they’ve gotten, money-wise?