'Paranormal Activity' director lands deal for alien flick, 'Area 51'

From "beyond the grave" to "beam me up," Variety is reporting Paranormal Activity helmer Oren Peli has landed a deal with Paramount Pictures to distribute his alien flick, Area 51.

The partnership re-teams Peli and Paramount after Activity, shot for around $11,000, made $106 million since September - making it one of the most profitable films ever. Despite bids for U.S. distribution rights from other studios, Paramount nabbed the deal because of how it "effectively executed the rollout as the film built word of mouth and became a breakout hit."

This time Peli had about $5 million to work with to tell the story of teens who stumble onto the Nevada military base around which much extraterrestrial conspiracies revolve. As with the demon-themed Paranormal Activity, Area 51 will utilize the found footage narrative structure. A release date is expected sometime in 2010.