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The fourth installment of the record-breaking horror franchise is directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, whose debut film Catfish demonstrated the potential of Mark Zuckerberg’s social network for film marketing.
In August the studio invited fans of the upcoming horror release to vote for Paranormal Activity 4 using Facebook’s Want it app – which recognises the geographical location of voters through a GPS system – with the offer of the top 25 voting cities given free screenings of the film three days before the official launch on October 19.
London and the Yorkshire city of Sheffield were the two UK based cities to gain free screenings. Lima in Peru came first, with Moscow, Buenos Aires and Göteborg also on the list.
The Paranormal Activity franchise is famous for its use of modern technologies and incredible popularity with cinema goers. Costing a grand total of $15,000, the first film in the franchise grossed $194 million worldwide, making it the most profitable film ever. The franchise has continued to pull in the crowds, with the latest film Paranormal Activity 3 grossing more than $205m worldwide.
The 25 cities that received the most votes and earned a free screening are: Lima, Peru; São Paulo, Brazil; Lake Bluff, Illinois; Mexico City, Mexico; Brasília, Brazil; Los Angeles, California; Fresno, California; Purchase, New York; Houston, Texas; Bogotá, Colombia; Moscow, Russia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; New York, New York; London, England; Paris, France; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; Santiago, Chile; Munich, Germany; Sheffield, England; Toronto, Canada; San Antonio, Texas; Göteborg, Sweden and Orlando, Florida.
“There’s a very special connection between Paranormal Activity and Facebook,” Facebook’s head of market development Matt Jacobson said. “Four years after the initial success of the franchise and the establishment of a passionate fan community, we’re excited to see continued iteration on a franchise that was born on Facebook.”