Paranormal Activity Fans Will Low-Budget Digital Video Horror Film Into Theaters

Paranormal Activity was released in 2007. It took two years to get to a screen near you but thanks to an online marketing effort that demonstrated popular appeal during a limited release last weekend, Paramount will release the film nationwide on October 16. The film earned $7.1 million from 160 screens on a $2 million advertising budget.

Fans of Paranormal Activity were directed to the movie’s Web site where they could click on the “Demand it” button (the bright yellow button draws attention on the page) and get redirected to Eventful to demonstrate appeal by requesting a showing. (When I completed the form, Eventful told me that 8,500+ were demanding the film in the Minneapolis metro area.) More than a million people nationwide have “demanded it.”

One trailer for the film on YouTube, uploaded September 15, 2009, has generated more than two million views:

As you can see, the trailer concludes with the very same yellow “Demand it” button that you’ll find on the movie’s Web site and directs viewers to that site to take action.

Clicking on the Twitter icon on the Web site pre-populates a Tweet for you, saying “Paranormal Activity Movie Website at” so all you need to do is click Update.

The movie’s Twitter account is @TweetYourScream and it’s been used to drive demand, to provide updates on “Demand it” goals, retweet Twitter chatter about the movie, and promote media coverage of the film.

The movie’s Facebook page boasts more than 63,000 fans and is being used to drive demand and engage fans. The Wall is very active with fans posting their reactions after seeing it or begging for it to be shown in their area. Movie goers are uploading their own video reviews of the film to the fan page.

A search of Facebook posts shows that fans are talking about the movie in their status updates, further spreading the word to their personal networks.

This search volume chart from Google Insights for Search demonstrates how interest in the movie has skyrocketed from August 2009 to October 2009:

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