Source: Deadline New York

Tod Williams will helm the sequel to Paramount's wildly successful low-budget thriller Paranormal Activity. Williams is best known for his work on The Door in the Floor, which starred Jeff Bridges, Kim Bassinger and Jon Foster.

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The studio has pegged the project for an October 22 release, so that means it will be opening on the same day as Saw VII in 3D. Paranormal Activity was able to keep Saw VI from opening in first place last October, so it will be interesting to see which film wins this round.

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The latest collaboration between Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe will have a grand premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The fest runs from May 12 to May 23, and Robin Hood will play on opening night. The Universal release also stars Cate Blanchett, William Hurt, Max von Sydow and Danny Huston.

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Robin Hood hits theaters domestically on May 14, one week after Iron Man 2. BoxOffice.com is currently predicting a $42 million opening weekend.

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Total tweets for March 26th Openers

Hot Tub Time Machine remained relatively flat on Wednesday as it had the slightest of bumps to 1,834, up from 1,744 on Tuesday. This slowing down on Wednesday might drop its potential a bit since it will now struggle to hit 8,000 tweets for the week. I'm going to tone down my expected ratio to ~1,250 and go ahead and predict a $6 million Friday and $16.5 million for the weekend.

How to Train Your Dragon experienced the typical Wednesday slowdown of films in its genre as it dropped to 1,698 tweets, down from Tuesday's 1,701 tweets. By comparison, Diary of a Wimpy Kid had 494 its Wednesday before release, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs had 524 and A Christmas Carol had 1,088. It seems to be on track for 6,750 tweets for the week thanks to its huge Tuesday bump. Its spam levels are definitely higher than most animated films I've tracked thanks to the added attention it has received which is going to push its ratio up a ways. I'm thinking Christmas Carol's 532 might be a solid benchmark here. As such I'll go ahead and predict a 550 ratio which should allow it to hit $12.75 million on Friday and $46 million for the full weekend.

Check back tomorrow to see the Thursday numbers and final weekend predictions. Follow @AlexBOXOFFICE on Twitter for additional updates.

Twitter tracking history. (For 2009's ratio history please check here.)

alltweets031910.jpgThe ratio is the number of tweets per $1 million of Friday Box Office gross. A film with 1,000 tweets and a $10 million Friday would therefore have a ratio of 100. In general, films that appeal to very young or older audiences have lower ratios since those audiences are not big users of Twitter. By comparison, films that appeal to younger audiences (18-35) have much higher ratios since those audiences are much more active users of Twitter.

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NEW YORK/ATLANTA/STAMFORD ‐‐ EFA Partners, an entertainment financial advisory firm that provides financing solutions for movie exhibitors, and Infuse Commercial Capital, a specialty finance company that creates tailored finance programs for small and middle market firms, announced that they have jointly created a program that offers favorable financing terms for smaller movie exhibitors seeking viable financing alternatives for their digital cinema conversion.

The program is highlighted by offering loans up to $2 million that can finance up to 100% of the digital cinema equipment cost. Loan repayment is over 10 years, much longer than terms typically offered in the current market, and interest rates are very competitive. In addition, loan processing is streamlined with an approval process that takes less than two weeks and a loan closing process of 30 to 45 days.

Such favorable terms are achievable via the program's utilization of loan guarantee programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA provides these as inducements for lenders to offer loans that may not otherwise be available on terms favorable to smaller businesses.

As the EFA/Infuse team created the program, they worked closely with Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. (NASDAQ: CIDM), the leader in digital cinema services. "EFA and Infuse have created a financing solution that is excellent for the smaller movie exhibitors and the program fits well with our exhibitor self‐financing program," said Bud Mayo, President and CEO of Cinedigm. "With Cinedigm as the selected integrator of the National Association of Theatre Owners' Cinema Buying Group (CBG) which has hundreds of small and independent exhibitors representing approximately 7,000 screens, we believe that the EFA/Infuse program is an excellent opportunity for CBG members to access favorable financing for their digital cinema conversions."

EFA and Infuse understand that the larger movie exhibitors have more access to financing for their digital cinema conversions while such financing has been a struggle for the smaller exhibitors in the current economic environment. The EFA/Infuse program will allow these exhibitors the ability to convert to digital with favorable financing terms and take advantage of all that digital cinema offers including 3‐D movies and alternative content such as sporting events and concerts.

"It is vital for a healthy movie theater industry that digital cinema should be accessible for small, mid‐sized and large exhibitors," said John Fithian, President of the National Association of Theatre Owners. "The EFA/Infuse program allows the small exhibitors to obtain competitive financing terms that have not been readily available and we applaud this effort."

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