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'Apollo 18': the next 'Paranormal Activity'?

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The internet has been buzzing for the past week over the trailer for the new science-fiction/horror flick Apollo 18, which claims to be found footage of a secret 1973 moon landing. The two astronauts believe the trip to be routine…but then one of them is infected by a creature. Cue the audience freaking out — and potentially showing up in droves when the movie opens April 22. Since the trailer’s release, it’s been performing incredibly well online for studio Dimension Films: In its first six days, it was viewed a whopping 4.3 million times.

With Apollo 18 and the success of Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity, it’s apparent that ”found footage” films are a viable genre for studios in a culture preoccupied with conspiracies. ”People intrinsically know there are secrets being held from us,” explains Dimension head Bob Weinstein. ”Look at WikiLeaks: There are secrets that are really true to the world. It’s not bogus.” Weinstein balks at the idea that this is a work of fiction. ”We didn’t shoot anything,” he says. ”We found it. Found, baby!” [Ed. note: Uh-huh.]

Apollo 18 is also the studio’s first project to have its marketing campaign driven mostly by social media and the Internet. Dimension marketing executive Bladimiar Norman reveals to EW that there’s a ”secret” website (apollo18movie.net/cosmonauts) where anxious fans can access bonus material. In terms of unconventional promotion, ”this is just the beginning,” adds Norman, ”but I’m not giving you any more secrets!”

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