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‘Paranormal Activity’ to hit shelves Tuesday

Paramount expects scary-good DVD, Blu-Ray sales

Paramount is hoping that Santa delivered lots of gift cards to its target demo of college students to help spur DVD and Blu-ray sales for “Paranormal Activity,” which hits shelves today.

Studio says it strategically opted for a post-Christmas launch for the unrated edition, which includes the theatrical version and one with a significantly different alternate ending than the box-office hit, which brought in $108 million theatrically.

Paramount expects “Paranormal” to be its third best-selling title of 2009 ­ — behind “Star Trek” and “Transformers.”

Those would be hard numbers to catch, but we certainly think DVD prospects are great,” a studio spokesperson said. “There’s still a large portion of potential viewers who haven’t seen it in the theater.”

The Melrose studio says it has seen an uptick in DVD sales after the holidays, especially among the film’s targeted young demo. The studio says the digital copy included with the Blu-ray version should be popular with college-age buyers. The two-disc Blu-ray version lists for $48.99 but is widely discounted for less than $25. Viewers who pre-ordered the disc from Amazon may also watch it immediately via Amazon video on demand.

Paranormal’s” post-holiday launch shows that Paramount is sticking with its agreed-upon 90-day window between theatrical release and homevid launch. The ultra-low-budget hit unspooled Sept. 25. Theater owners were concerned that Par might release the title before Christmas given that the studio unspooled “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” less than 90 days after its theatrical bow.

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