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Facebook, Twitter Fuel Indie Movie Ticket Sales

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A new independendent horror film is succeeding at the box office, and it's all thanks to word of mouth on social networks.

The film Paranormal Activity has been all the buzz on popular sites like Twitter and Facebook, and has already grossed $780,000 in two weeks, in spite of limited, late-night showings on only 33 screens across the country.

The film's producers are using the social networks to drive demand for the movie, and have even roped popular actors into the cause. Jon Favreau just wrote in his Twitter feed about the film, for example. The Twitter entries link to Eventful.com, where the filmmakers encourage fans to request local showings. "Hit 1,000,000 demands," notes the site, "and Paranormal Activity will open nationwide!"

Paramount Pictures is taking its Web-based marketing one step further, having fans request the film come to their city through the movie's Web site. It's part innovation, part gimmick, but it's helping to build the groundswell of chatter surrounding the movie.

"I can't remember the last time I heard a studio doing this," says box office observer Gitesh Pandya, who runs the Web site boxofficeguru.com. "(Paramount, which is releasing the film) knew they had an unconventional film, so they're releasing it in an unconventional way."

Read more about Paranormal Activity at The Detroit News.