You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Paranormal’ versus ‘Blair Witch’

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.

More Film

  • Busan: Director Chowdhury Sets 'Rickshaw Girl'

    Busan: Director Chowdhury Sets 'Rickshaw Girl' for March Shoot

    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 […]

  • Mipcom; Wings Media Signs 10-Film Deal

    Mipcom: Wings Media Signs 10-Film Deal With Shellhut, Tiny Island

    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 […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg Hand Imprint Ceremony

    Jeffrey Katzenberg: Harvey Weinstein Is a Monster, But Didn't Act Alone

    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 […]

  • Jack Gao Departs Wanda Group, Legendary

    Jack Gao Departs Wanda Group, Legendary Entertainment

    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 […]

  • Ava DuVernay Central Park Five

    African American Film Critics Assn. Proclaims 2017 'Year of the Woman'

    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 […]

  • ‘Working Above The Line’ panel, The

    Academy's Third Annual Careers in Film Summit Inspires Young Creatives

    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 […]

  • Festival of Disruption

    David Lynch's Festival of Disruption Unites 'Peaks' Cultists in Meditation Talk and Musical Mayhem

    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 […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content