Daniel Frankel writes in The Wrap:
“This will definitely echo around the halls of Viacom in New York,” said Don Harris, executive VP of distribution for Paramount on Sunday, shortly after it was announced that “Paranormal Activity” would lead the weekend box office with $22 million.
Harris’ jubilation was understandable.
Set to further expand its run this weekend from 1,945 locations to around 2,400, and having grossed $65.1 million through Wednesday on a sub-$15,000 production budget, “Paranormal” has already exceeded the film it is most often compared to, “The Blair Witch Project,” as the most profitable movie of all time.
“Blair Witch’s” $248.6 million worldwide haul a decade ago – juxtaposed against its $60,000 production costs – represented an almost unthinkable 414,233 percent return on investment.
Doing the same basic ROI math on “Paranormal” (65.1 million minus 15,000 divided by 15,000 times 100) yields an equally unfathomable result of 433,900 percent…