Paramount to distribute 'Area 51'

Plot of 'Paranormal Activity' follow-up closely guarded

Oren Peli has just seen some new activity.

The "Paranormal Activity" writer-director's follow-up, "Area 51," has been picked up for distribution in the U.S. by Paramount Pictures, which also distributed his mega-successful debut.

"Activity," produced for just $11,000, has grossed $106 million dollars in the U.S. in the last three months. It has just begun its release overseas, grossing $7 million over the Thanksgiving weekend.

"Moviegoers everywhere demanded to see Oren Peli's spectacular debut and we are excited to show them what he's created next," said Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman, who was involved with acquiring "Activity" while at DreamWorks.

Peli wrote and directed "51," a slightly higher budgeted foray into science fiction that reportedly uses a similar "found footage" conceit as "Activity." The film's plot is otherwise shrouded in mystery.

Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions produced "Activity" and "51." Steven Schneider of Room 101, Stuart Ford of IM Global and Amir Zbeda are executive producing.

The picture, now in post-production, was financed by Incentive Filmed Entertainment and the Aramid Entertainment Fund.

"These films show that real franchises can be successfully launched from the independent side of the business -- not something the marketplace necessarily believed five years ago," said Incentive chairman David Molner.

Most of the international distribution rights to "51" sold during the recent American Film Market.