Paramount acquires US rights of Area 51

MUMBAI: Paramount Pictures has paid a seven figure sum to Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli for the US rights of the filmmaker‘s alien thriller Area 51.

Following a protracted negotiation process that had dragged on for close to a month, IM Global CEO Stuart Ford, CAA, Incentive Filmed Entertainment chairman David Molner and attorneys Linda Lichter and Jamie Feldman closed the deal with the studio last week.

By paying the highest sum, Paramount beat rival bids from DreamWorks and Lionsgate. It is understood that Summit Entertainment was also in the race but withdrew earlier.

IM Global had recently sold out international rights of Area 51 at the American Film Market, where buyers scarcely needed the incentive of an imminent domestic deal to drive business in the wake of Paranormal Activity‘s stunning US box-office.

The company licensed Area 51 to Momentum for UK, Concorde for Germany, Euro TV for France, Zelta for Spain, Village Roadshow for Australia and New Zealand, PlayArte for Latin America and Alliance for Canada.

Right now, Area 51 is in post-production and it is understood that Paramount is eager to schedule a release in early 2010.
With $18 million and a three-week total collection of $138.8 million, Sony‘s 2012 stood at the third spot.

The John Travolta and Robin Williams starrer Disney‘s Old Dogs took the No. 4 spot with an estimated $16.8 million. Though the film was criticized by critics, moviegoers seem to have liked it.

At No. 5 was Disney‘s A Christmas Carol that amassed $16 million, up 30 per cent from the $12.3 million that it grossed last week.

Ninja Assassin opened at No. 6 with a collection of $13.1 million.

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