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Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Israeli who conquered Hollywood

Israeli director who became film studio favorite after establishing Micro Budget niche to premier new flick, Chernobyl Diaries, this May

After a series of exceptionally profitable horror flicks, Israeli-born director Oren Peli became a favorite of the Hollywood film industry.

This happened not only thanks to his perfect box office record, but also because he found a way to produce profitable thrillers at a much lower cost than Hollywood’s average horror film budget.

Peli’s new feature, Chernobyl Diaries, is scheduled to premier this May at the onslaught of the bustling summer film season. Currently, he is wrapping up his second film as director, called Area 51, while at the same time producing yet another thriller, The Lords of Salem, and promoting his Paranormal Activity series.

Peli produced and directed the first film in the Paranormal Activity series on a scanty $15,000 budget, grossing $193.4 million at the box offices. The second movie was produced with a $3 million budget, grossing $177.5 million. The third film, produced with a $5 million budget, grossed $205 million worldwide.

Peli, who only directed the first film, will produce and write the fourth film, scheduled to premier right before Halloween.

The film niche that Peli established, dubbed Micro Budget, made him a favorite at Paramount and DreamWorks studios and an associate of Steven Spielberg who co-produced Paranormal Activity and his ABC TV series The River.

The River was not as successful as the Paranormal Activity film which grossed dozens of millions of dollars in their first week, and it is not clear whether ABC will continue to run it. In the meantime, video clip giant Netflix, which is now producing its own shows, is reportedly mulling the production of the River for its VOD service should ABC decide not to run The River for a second season.

The original article was published by Calcalist