'Paranormal Activity 3' to Haunt Next October

by Brandon Gray

November 17, 2010

To paraphrase an old Saw tagline: "If it's Halloween, it must be… Paranormal Activity."

Shocking no one, Paramount Pictures today announced that Paranormal Activity 3 is being made and will be released Oct. 21, 2011. That will be the same pre-Halloween weekend timeframe that Paranormal Activity 2 inhabited earlier this year and when the first Paranormal Activity was peaking in 2009. This also further solidified Paranormal Activity's usurping of Saw as the new Halloween horror tradition.

Paranormal Activity 3 is set to face-off with the Steven Soderbergh-directed thriller Contagion, featuring Matt Damon and a raft of name actors (Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, etc.). Damon's last movie, supernatural thriller Hereafter, debuted opposite Paranormal Activity 2 and was crushed. Saw distributor Lionsgate hasn't given up on Halloween and will release supernatural horror movie Dibbuk Box a week after Paranormal Activity 3.

Paranormal Activity 2 broke the opening weekend gross record for a supernatural horror movie ($40.7 million) and has tallied $82.3 million since its release. Though the sequel won't match its predecessor's $107.9 million final gross, it nonetheless performed at the high end of the sub-genre and showed excellent retention when most similar sequels fall flat (ex. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2). That made a third movie an inevitability.

Paramount also delayed Footloose (2011) again, pushing the musical remake back from April 1 to Oct. 14, countering another remake, The Three Musketeers (2011).

In other release date news, Focus Features pushed forward The Eagle, a sword-and-sandal action picture featuring Channing Tatum, from Feb. 25 to the crowded Feb. 11 weekend, where it will open opposite Adam Sandler's Just Go With It, Monte Carlo, Gnomeo and Juliet (in 3D) and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (in 3D).

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