This may not interest everyone, but for the many church planters (people who are starting new churches) who read this blog, have you heard about the story of the movie Paranormal Activity? It was shot in 2006 by a video game designer for $11,000. Like Blair Witch its supposed to be found footage of a video experiment. It has only two characters and completely takes place in one house. And it’s now a blockbuster that everyone is talking about.
So here’s how the marketing campaign worked: Paramount opened it as a midnight movie in 13 college towns. That started the word of mouth going. Paramount then told fans the movie would get a wide release only if one million “demands” were logged onto the Paranormal Activity website. That took all of two weeks. They then opened it nationally, on 160 screens, and because it had become a viral sensation, it took in $7.9 million. (Remember, it cost $11,000 to make!) They then put it in 800 theaters.
So if you’re a church planter, or some other kind of entrepreneur, what do you learn from this?