A 'prequel' that delves into the horrifying events in the first and second chapters, 'Paranormal Activity 3' features recreated home-movie footage from 1988.

The third installment in the low-budget horror film franchise; “PA 3” topped the second installment that came in at an impressive $40.7 million. A “prequel” that delves into the horrifying events in the first and second chapters, the third installment features recreated home-movie footage from 1988.

The first “Paranormal Activity,” with its reported $15,000 budget, became a phenomenon in 2009 through midnight screenings and word of mouth.

Don Harris, Paramount’s president of distribution believes the latest installment did so well because it’s actually the best movie of the three. The third installment appealed to an older crowd, with 47 percent over the age of 25 compared to 40 percent for “Paranormal Activity 2.” Strong reviews also helped, he said, including a rave from Time magazine.

“The [original] film yanked horror out of the ‘Saw’ abattoir and sent it back home where it belongs, and where it is more likely to occur. Not everyone has been kidnapped by an inventive psychopath with dismemberment in mind. But most people have a bedroom, and someone they love nearby, and an apprehension of inexplicable shadows, breezes and sounds. ‘Paranormal Activity’ plundered the terror implicit in familiar objects, surroundings and people – in the heard but unseen, the seen but unexpected . The monster you fear is worse than the monster you see,” Time magazine’s Richard Corliss wrote.

“Ultimately, it gets back to why there’s still a theatrical business, why people still go to the movies,” Harris said. “We want to laugh in a group, we want to be scared in a group, people like to cry in a group in the dark where nobody can see them crying. It’s all the reason movie theaters exist and this genre has always been front and center.”

Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com, said he was surprised by the third installment’s success.

“This brand is as solid as the ‘Twilight’ brand or the ‘Jackass’ brand. There are certain brands that just transcend any kind of box-office rhyme or reason. They just resonate,” Dergarabedian said. “These are shot in someone’s house, they look like they’re shot with a home video recorder, and people just relate to it.”

Last week’s No. 1 release, the futuristic boxing robot adventure “Real Steel,” fell to second place. It made $11.3 million for a domestic total of $67.2 million.

The top 10 at the nation’s box offices went something like this:

1. “Paranormal Activity 3,” $54 million.

2. “Real Steel,” $11.3 million.

3. “Footloose,” $10.85 million.

4. “The Three Musketeers,” $8.8 million.

5. “The Ides of March,” $4.9 million.

6. “Dolphin Tale,” $4.2 million.

7. “Moneyball,” $4.05 million.

8. “Johnny English Reborn,” $3.8 million.

9. “The Thing,” $3.1 million.

10. “50/50,” $2.8 million.

News Source:  Catholic

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