The clever folks behind Paranormal Activity, the low-budget frightfest that has terrified midnight audiences in college towns the past two weeks, intend to bring their movie to the masses. But first, they’d like to see how badly you reeeeally want to see it. If 1,000,000 people go to eventful.com and demand that their much-buzzed ghost story opens in local theaters, the film will receive a nationwide release. The site even has a telethon-like demand-o-meter and boasts that Paranormal is the “first-ever major film release decided by you.”
Shrewd. Getting a million “votes” should be a piece of cake, especially since many of the people “demanding” Paranormal Activity already have it playing near them. Last weekend, the movie played in only 33 theaters nationwide, but its five-figure per-screen average promises greater exposure to come, regardless of the website’s final tally.
I wonder how future films will incorporate Paranormal Activity’s grassroots Web marketing. Blockbusters might not need it, but wouldn’t it be nice set up our own websites demanding that certain movies don’t get released? Hit 1,000,000 demands and G.I. Joe will vacate your local theater? Which movie would you “vote” to disappear? And will you be voting for Paranormal Activity today?