By Ryan Parsons | Images property of Paramount Pictures, Variety
Talk about a battle. Paramount has announced that Paranormal Activity 2 will open to theaters on October 22nd, the exact same date already picked by Lionsgate for Saw VII. Wha! Talk about a match-up! Okay, okay, maybe not exactly. Sure, some of this might consider this a face to face of two popular franchises sharing the same genre, but I don't think either film would have sucked up all the moviegoers anyway. Let's face it, Paranormal Activity was better if you didn't see it -- all the feedback of people leaving theaters can be summed up with "lame" -- and Saw VI showed that the Saw franchise was finally losing (a lot) of steam. Do we really care that they are heading for a match-up?
Paranormal Activity vs Saw VII
I guess a little, especially considering that Paranormal Activity stole a good chunk of market share from Saw VI and Lionsgate is hoping that adding 3D to Saw VII 3D will be just the kick the franchise needs. It's a test of ideas, at least.
What is cool about the Halloween battle is that it has history. The previous installments have already had a close face to face, missing eachothers release by about a week, and shenanigans have already taken place between Paramount and Lionsgate.
For example - Paramount was at one time hoping that Kevin Greutert would direct Paranormal Activity 2, but Lionsgate exercised an option requiring Greutert to direct the next Saw installment. Paramount had to instead go with Tod Williams, who is new to the horror genre. Will he be ready in time for October 22nd? I certainly hope so, considering the first installment only took 8 days to make for a miniscule $15,000. The film later went on to become one of the most profitable films in Hollywood history, having earned $192.7 million worldwide.
I personally think both these new installments are just there to serve as guaranteed revenues for the studios they represent. I get it, but I also wouldn't care to piss on the original reels if they were lit on fire.