Theaters Boycotting ‘Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension’ Over Early-VOD Release
Paramount executives have set up the upcoming found-footage horror sequel Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension for failure at the box-office. Paramount has opted to release the sixth film in the Paranormal Activity franchise into a comparatively paltry 1,400 theaters in America, as opposed to the 2,883 of last year’s The Marked Ones and upwards of 3,000 for each of the previous films in the series. A new item from The Hollywood Reporter estimates that the film will gross a measly $10-12 million in the domestic market, an all-time low for a series that began with a $193.4 million gross on a $15,000 budget. And yet the executives at Paramount don’t consider this diminished box-office presence a failure at all.
Paramount has chosen to divert their resources towards drumming up revenue through Video On Demand channels, and movie theater owners aren’t pleased. The reason that The Ghost Dimension will play in such a small number of movie theaters is that the film will become available to watch in the comfort of your own home a mere six to seven weeks after it leaves theaters, instead of the usual three-to-four-month delay. Movie theater owners suspect that ticket sales will suffer under this experimental new business model and they refuse to be Paramount’s guinea pigs. The Hollywood Reporter also notes that under this new deal, Paramount would share an “undisclosed portion” of VOD profits with theaters.
Change has always created unrest in the status quo, but this new development, if proliferated, could spell doom for multiplexes. The viewer’s internal argument over whether her or she can wait a month or so to see a new picture is not one that theater owners want them to be having at all. With the convenience and ease of instant-streaming services along with VOD options threatening the brick-and-mortar cineplexes, this could the beginning of another nail in the coffin.