With $249 million global B.O., 'Blair' most profitable

The unexpected success of microbudget horror pic “Paranormal Activity” has inspired many comparisons to “The Blair Witch Project.”

The parallels are obvious: Both are spooky, ultra low-budget mockumentaries shot with inexpensive video cameras.

“Blair” pioneered use of the Internet to build a major audience, at a time when most people could barely watch trailers with their slow modem connections. Paramount’s release of “Paranormal” has also made more effective use of the Internet than many low-budget films have been able to.

The “Paranormal” numbers are already impressive: The film, which cost around $11,000, has already grossed $12.5 million on fewer than 200 screens. But it has a long road ahead to even approach the phenomenon of “Blair Witch” 10 years ago.

That pic, which cost around $25,000 to produce, opened July 16, 1999, to $1.5 million from 28 theaters; it expanded to 1,101 the next week for $29 million and ended up No. 10 for the year domestically with $148 million. Its grosses totaled a staggering $249 million worldwide.

That tally still makes it the most profitable film ever in terms of return on investment.

Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0