The word "miraculous" sums up Paramount's relationship with the Paranormal Activity franchise in many ways. They rolled the dice on an independent horror film years ago, one made for $15K, which then made a paranormal amount of cash. They then turned that indie ghost story into a franchise that continues to make bank and cost next to nothing to make, relatively speaking. But the real miracle has been the last two years, during which they have managed to scramble at the last minute and, against all odds, release Paranormal Activity 3 and Paranormal Activity 4 on consecutive Octobers. And now, for Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the film is set to be released in three months, and we are once again without a director, as far as we've been told, or any evidence that shooting has begun.
It likes like Paramount's miracle run has come to an end. The Wrap is reporting that the studio is considering pushing back the release date of Paranormal Activity 5 from October 25th, 2013 to an undisclosed weekend in January of 2014. The source here claims that the studio is still contemplating this move.
Talk about a franchise getting out of hand. The biggest problem I had with the last two PA films is that they both felt so rushed that their conclusions were especially unsatisfying. It was just a matter of time before this apparently laissez-faire production schedule for these sequels caught up with Paramount. Given the frustratingly sub-par quality of Paranormal Activity 4, I'm happy to wait a few more months for the fifth one if it means a little more care will be taken.
More interesting however is contemplating what this will mean for other horror films this year. I can tell you definitively that over the last few years, other studios have begun to look at October as "the Paranormal Activity month" and have adjusted their own horror releases to basically move out of the way of this franchise titan. I wouldn't be surprised, should PA 5 move to next January, to see several other upcoming horror films will be scrambling to move back to October.