2012 has only just begun, but if the box office so far proves anything, it’s that low-budget, well-marketed genre fare still and will probably always sell. After the rise of the “Paranormal Activity” series a few years ago and the title of 2011’s Most Profitable Movie falling to “Insidious,” William Brent Bell‘s “The Devil Inside” exploded on the January 6th weekend with a $34.5 million opening and has now broken the $50 million mark all on a tiny $1 million production budget. Mind you, this is all despite the fact it holds a measly 7% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
It was pretty much inevitable for studios to be backing more films of that nature with casting news here on two seperate projects. Firstly, Ethan Hawke and “Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey are set to lead little known James DeMonaco‘s “Vigilandia,” a sci-fi thriller whose details are currently being kept under wraps. Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form are all producing the film under their respective Blumhouse, Platinum Dunes and Why Not shingles with Universal also on board courtesy of their first-look deal with Blumhouse.
Meanwhile, Blumhouse alumni James Wan looks to have revitalized his directorial career after “Insidious” with his next effort beginning to take shape. Formerly titled “The Conjuring,” the project is now going by the name of the “Untitled Warren Files Project” and will follow a husband and wife team of demonologists and psychic investigators (the recently cast Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) who enter the most horrifying case of their career, when they take on spirits in a Rhode Island farmhouse.
Two more thesps have have now jumped on board with Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor joining as a couple who move with their kids to the aforementioned farmhouse. The story is actually based on the real life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren who took on the case of the Perron family based in Rhode Island in the ’70s. Lensing will begin this March in North Carolina. [Variety/THR/THR]