The micro-budgeted horror movie "Paranormal Activity" continued its "Blair Witch"-like run over the weekend, selling out the bulk of its midnight runs in 33 cities, while generating $535,000 and an average of $16,000 per screen.
And starting Friday, Paramount will expand its run beyond the midnight hour and to 40 cities.
Shot in 2006 by Israeli videogame designer Oren Peli for $15,000 and with the help of friends, the movie about a San Diego couple being terrorized at night in their suburban home by a demon has slowly been building its legend for several years.
The horror film bounced around the halls of DreamWorks at one point, with Steven Spielberg himself said to be favorably disturbed by it, and Peli commissioned to do a remake. It also made an impression during several festival screenings, including one last month at Telluride.
With Paramount acquiring the title when former DreamWorks production chief Adam Goodman joined the studio, strategic distribution and marketing plans were made to take advantage of "Paranormal's" growing Internet buzz.
With midnight shows positioned in college towns, moviegoers have been encouraged to visit the movie's website, www.paranormalmovie.com, and "demand" that it be released more widely.
"The fans have spoke, and we are listening," said Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore.