LOS ANGELES (AP) — There will be a third “Blair Witch” movie, despite
lackluster interest in last fall’s second installment of the horror
franchise.


Artisan Entertainment plans to go ahead with a “Blair Witch” prequel,
said Amir Malin, who heads the independent distributor that acquired “The
Blair Witch Project” at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999.



After the movie became a sensation that summer, Artisan announced it would
release a sequel in late 2000 and the prequel by fall of 2001. In a phone
interview, Malin said Artisan now plans to take more time on the third
movie, with hopes to get it in theaters by 2002.

The prequel will tell the early history of the witch legend at the center
of the previous two movies.

“Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2” took a drubbing from critics last October
and grossed just $26 million domestically, less than a fifth of the
business the first movie did.

Artisan still will turn a good profit on the sequel, but the returns might
have been greater if the movie had not been such a rush job, Malin
said.

“We set a target to have it in theaters for Halloween of 2000,” Malin
said. “Had we had more time with the film, it would have been more
successful.”