People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Friday, November 6, 2009
  Wanna be in the Paranormal Activity credits?
So this Paranormal Activity business.

I always think it’s cool when a movie becomes a success in a genuinely grassroots way, especially when it climbs the top box office list over the course of several weeks. It almost never happens anymore, when positive word-of-mouth fuels a movie’s success rather than a “trick millions into going to see it the first weekend” marketing blitz. And as much as Paranormal Activity isn’t really my thing – I more appreciated it than liked it, and I thought it was very well-made and effective, but I wouldn’t really call it “scary,” but that’s just me – Paramount clearly has something special on their hands. The film was made for a pittance ($15,000!) a few years ago, and is currently nearing the $100-million mark. (It was also the horror film that finally broke the Saw franchise’s grip on the Halloween box office, and for that I am thankful.)

The ‘Demand It’ campaign, which prompted people who watched the trailer online to go to the movie’s website and demand that the film be released in their city too – Paranormal Activity only opened in a handful of theaters initially – eventually got millions of votes, and directly led to the film now being in just about every cinema in North America. I remember when it opened here in Toronto at one theater just for midnight showings, and now it’s everywhere. And to thank fans, Paramount is allowing anyone to register at any time before next Monday, November 9 at noon PST to have their names included in the credits of the Paranormal Activity DVD (for which there’s still no official release date, but that’s undoubtedly coming soon).

I think this is a great little thing for fans of the movie. Paranormal Activity, more than just about any hit movie this year (with the possible exception of District 9), was a success because the movie really connected with people, and the “buzz” had less to do with a marketing campaign than with people just getting excited about seeing it and genuinely digging it and telling their friends to check it out. It’s a nice acknowledgement of the role that “the people” played in the movie’s success, and it’s cool that basically anybody who wants to can get their name into the DVD credits.

Look for a proper DVD review of Paranormal Activity in the coming weeks or months (assuming Paramount sends one along for me).

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