The Blair Witch Game’s New Trailer Looks Like The Movie Sequel We’ll Probably Never See

The recent attempt to reboot the Blair Witch franchise with a new movie wasn’t a rousing success. While the movie was probably still profitable thanks to a microscopic budget, it made less than $50 million globally, but if you thought that meant the franchise was dead, think again.

Blair Witch is coming back as a video game. This morning the game’s story trailer was released, and for those people who are fans of this franchise, it looks like it will likely deliver all the chills and jump scares that you’ve come to expect. Check the trailer out below.

The story for the game appears to be entirely original, but it certainly plays off the mythology created by the films. A boy goes missing in the same woods that have claimed so many throughout the franchise. One man, the character you play as, appears to be obsessed with finding him, even after others seem to have given up hope. Of course, then the woods begin to mess with him as well.

It’s an interesting looking game, if only because, from this, it’s difficult to tell what the actual game is. The game is done in a first-person perspective, which makes sense considering the first person perspective of the films due to the found footage concept. Usually, in games, that means shooting things, and while we see our character holding a gun, he never fires it in the trailer.

In fact, like the Blair Witch movies, a lot of what makes the game look scary is what we don’t see. There are a few moments here and there in the trailer that show us creepy things happening, but for the most part, there’s simply an ominous feeling that something could happen at any moment.

Of course, the other element the trailer provides here is that it’s implied that the player character might not be entirely sane, so everything we see might not even be real.

It also looks like it might very well be the perfect game for fans of the franchise, even if you don’t play games. It’s unclear what the gameplay mechanics even are, it’s possible that Blair Witch the game might be a horror focused “walking simulator,” a game that doesn’t actually have gameplay beyond moving the character between points to continue the story, as such, it would essentially be another Blair Witch movie, just one that moves at your pace.

As somebody who actually enjoyed the recent Blair Witch reboot movie, and liked the original when it came out (though I admit it hasn’t aged well) I have to say I like what I see here. Having said that, horror games are rarely my thing, mostly because, when they work well, I literally dread starting them up because I don’t know what fresh terror awaits.

Jason Momoa Says The Snyder Cut Of Justice League Is ‘Sick’

Jason Momoa got his big Aquaman debut in Justice League, following a brief cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He’s made the character far more badass and serious than we’d seen before, and Momoa credits Zack Snyder for casting him, helping his career grow in the process. The two recently reunited, and it seems the Game of Thrones alum got to see a the Snyder Cut. What’s more, he says its “ssssiiicccckkkkkk”

The Thanos Moment In Avengers: Infinity War That Convinced Jim Starlin Marvel Got Him Right

It has to be pretty stressful watching a character you created make their debut in a feature film – and a film you have no control over. How will your “baby” be interpreted? Will all of your hard work, your blood and sweat, be tossed out like bathwater in favor of a new director’s vision? Will it all turn out so very wrong?

These were the fears flowing through legendary comic-book writer Jim Starlin’s creative brain as Marvel Studios mounted both Avengers: Infinity War and its conclusion, Avengers: Endgame. The movies were going to be based on a story Starlin wrote in 1991 (The Infinity Gauntlet), and would be the first MCU movie to fully feature Thanos (Josh Brolin) as a significant character.

When we recently had the chance to sit down and interview Jim Starlin as Avengers: Endgame was making its way to DVD and Blu-ray, we asked him the moment that he realized that Thanos worked, and he could stop worrying. He told us:

If you can’t recall, Avengers: Infinity War begins where Thor: Ragnarok ends. Thanos and his Black Order have boarded a ship piloted by Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). He’s seeking the Tesseract, and he lays waste to a community of Asgardians. It’s a fantastic introduction for the iconic character.

So Jim Starlin admits that he was able to breathe easy almost immediately, as this opening scene – written by the brilliant Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely – eased him mind and made him realize that Marvel Studios was going to do justice to the Mad Titan. Even though the MCU required some major changes to the Infinity Gauntlet story, due to characters the studio does not own (like The Silver Surfer and Mephisto).

But there was another concern lingering in Jim Starlin’s mind as he approached the release of Avengers: Infinity War, and it had to do with the way that DC had tried, and failed, to being their major team to the big screen in Justice League the year prior. As Starlin told us:

Yeah, that’d be cause for alarm. Much like Steppenwolf and Darkseid in the DC universe, Thanos is a complicated character with a rich backstory. We get hints of it in Avengers: Infinity War. But the movie could have used more, as the books lend more layers to the dominant villain.

Want to watch our full interview with Jim Starlin? Then press play on the video down below:

Avengers: Endgame concludes the current run of Thanos in the MCU. Do you think that the Mad Titan will return in another Marvel series? Like, say, Eternals? Anything’s possible, so we’ll see where the future takes us as the MCU continues to grow on screen.

Paul Walker’s Daughter Meadow Shares Throwback Photo Of Her Dad After Hobbs And Shaw Release

Celebrity deaths are always headline news and the biggest fans of any given name never really get over the loss of a performer they loved. Having said that, the death of Paul Walker was something of a unique event. Walker’s death at the age of 40, and at the height of his celebrity, resulted in an outpouring of love that from fans that still hasn’t faded away. Clearly, however, nobody misses Paul Walker more than his family, and Walker’s daughter recently posted an image of him in remembrance.

Meadow Walker, the daughter of Paul, posted the image to her Instagram, which shows her dad swimming, with a pig. It’s a great picture because, it’s more than a little hilarious to see Paul Walker and this pig looking at each other, but it’s also quite heartwarming. You really want to know the story behind where this image came from because it’s probably an excellent tale.

As you would expect, the picture is receiving a lot of love from friends and fans of Paul Walker, who still miss the actor nearly six years after his passing.

Paul Walker died in a car accident in 2013. He was still in the midst of filming Furious 7 at the time, requiring some script alterations and the use of Paul Walker’s brother as a stand-in for Paul. The actor’s face was CGI’d into a final sequence that was used as a farewell for both the character and the man.

Furious 7 would go on to gross over $1 billion. The fact that Paul Walker died so young, and in the middle of a franchise that was only growing in popularity, likely played into the fact that his death seemed to hit a lot of fans harder than you might expect. Walker wasn’t a huge star outside of the Fast & Furious franchise, but the franchise was likely helping him build to becoming even bigger.

The fact that the Fast & Furious franchise is still going strong also helps keep Paul Walker in the minds of the fans. The first franchise spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw, is in theaters now, and while it doesn’t contain most of the cast, or even reference them, the fact that the movie is doing well means the fans for the franchise aren’t going anywhere. Fast & Furious 9 is currently filming and will likely be a massive hit when it arrives next year.

Odds are Paul Walker’s character will be a big part of that movie, even though he obviously won’t be there. Jordana Brewster, who’s character has a child with Walker’s, will be back, and that’s certainly not going to happen without some sort of explanation why the character of Brian will be missing.

This Rotten Week: Predicting Angel Has Fallen, Ready Or Not, And Overcomer Reviews

 

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After two crazy weeks filled with five new wide releases each, we have a quieter slate of new releases ahead, with just three new movies set to hit the big screen. We’ve got another attempted hit on a President, a game of hide and seek gone horribly wrong, and a Christian-heavy flick. Get ready for Angel Has Fallen, Ready Or Not, and Overcomer.

Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.

Rotten Watch Prediction

Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) has had a bit of an up and down career. First he stood there as the President’s wife careened off a cliff to her death only to save the day when Koreans laid waste to the White House in Olympus Has Fallen (49%). Then he was on hand when terrorists pulled out all the stops to raze the world’s leadership in London Has Fallen (26%). Now he’s on the run after being framed for an attempted assassination attempt on the next President. The bad guys simply won’t stop coming at our top guy, and the new adventure is titled Angel Has Fallen.

Ric Roman Waugh directs after helming Shot Caller (66%) and penning Snitch (56%). These kind of action movies are decent popcorn flicks with very little backbone. That’s the hallmark of the Has Fallen franchise, and they do well at the box office with the first two films earning almost $300 million at the box office. That being said, they really don’t do all that well with professional critics, and I expect that it winds up with a Rotten Tomatoes score similar to those of its predecessors in the series.

Rotten Watch Prediction

Getting married and meeting your spouse’s family can be hair-raising and nerve-wracking on it’s own. Now imagine that family also decides that on your wedding night they’ll be tracking you down hunter-killer style throughout their mansion with the sole intent of icing you before daybreak. Not exactly a perfect honeymoon or grounds for trust later on down the line when it comes to family get-togethers, but such is the set up for the new thriller Ready Or Not.

This new horror/dark comedy has the Le Doma family playing the part of the stalkers, being bound to an ancient tradition of killing new members of the family. They also look woefully out of their depth on that front, leading to what looks like a lot of laughs. It’s doing great out of the gate with a cool 100% score with 16 reviews registered. Critics are heaping praise on the style, script and scares. It will drop over the course of the week, but this one looks like a win.

Rotten Watch Prediction

Alex Kendrick writes, directs and stars in Overcomer, which tells the story of a high school basketball coach who turns into a track coach to help a struggling athlete overcome (get it?) obstacles on her way to a championship. How do they do it? A little bit of practice and a whole lot of prayer. It’s heavy on the Christian themes, and this movie has a very specific target audience.

Kendricks’ other films include War Room (33%), Courageous (33%), Fireproof (40%) and Facing the Giants (14%). All all of them have a very strong Christian influence, and all underwhelmed critics. I can’t imagine this latest will be any different. The movie notes read like an After (Sunday) school Special and nothing more.

I had a nice run last time around with four of the five movies falling within ten percent of my predictions. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (Predicted: 75% Actual: 76%) well outpaced the original (44%) and landed as a critical win. That’s rare to see from the second movie in a series, but this one had a new crew at the helm and they churned out a visually pleasing film that did better with the story than the original.

With Blinded By The Light (Predicted: 92% Actual: 90%) I had a head start, but all the same it will go down as one of the best reviewed wide releases of the year. The story of one British man’s love of Bruce Springsteen and how it helped him grow as a writer while also creating a wedge with his family is an unlikely story, but it landed with critics in a big way.

Good Boys (Predicted: 80% Actual: 80%) was a prediction that hit right on the nose. The “Superbad in Middle School” vibe was a hit with reviewers, with an appreciation of the movie’s sense of humor a common thread in a lot of the write-ups. It’s not easy for comedies like this to finish with such an excellent score.

I ticked up Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Predicted: 50% Actual: 43%) just a tad from where I wanted to originally score it (41%) because Richard Linklater directed it, and I tend to give his work the benefit of the doubt because of his track record. I should have just stuck with my original call. That being said, it still counts as a predictive win, with critics just not clicking with the adaptation of the best selling novel of the same name.

Finally, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (Predicted: 24% Actual: 50%) was a miss. If anything, I thought 24% was going to on the high side and I almost guessed a score in the low-teens. It all just looked so bad. But the reviews ended up split down the middle.

Next time we’ve got Don’t Let Go. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!

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10 Comic Arcs To Read To Prepare For Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4

 

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Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are never direct panel-for-panel adaptations of the source material on which they are based, but there’s still no denying the incredibly important influence and impact that the comics have on the blockbusters. Whether it’s major plot points, stylistic cues, character details, or even bits of dialogue, the words and artwork featured in decades of published magazines are in the core DNA of the adventures, and that’s not an element of the development process that is going away any time soon.

It’s with this in mind that we have built this feature – putting together a different kind of look ahead at what’s coming from the developing Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The full slate was announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, and while there are some projects, both on the big screen and on Disney+, that remain incredibly mysterious, there are most definitely clues to be discovered about them in the comics. So without further ado, let’s dive into the books you should read to prepare for the next generation of Marvel projects:

Marvel Knights: Black Widow by Devin Grayson and J.G. Jones (Black Widow)

Similar to how it took Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow ten years to go from introduction to solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was quite a long time after the character was created that she got her own solo series in the comics. Readers first got to know her as an Iron Man antagonist in 1964’s Tales Of Suspense #52, and it wasn’t until 1999 that she got her own run with her name in the title. Funny enough, it’s also this three issue run that should serve as good prep work for Cate Shortland’s upcoming Black Widow movie.

It’s not so much about getting to know certain plot developments, the story will take place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and feature Natasha Romanoff in different specific circumstances than any pre-existing story, but it will help audiences get ready for the introduction of a key new character: Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova a.k.a. Black Widow. She was created by Devin Grayson and J.G. Jones as part of this three issue series, and there’s no better way to get to know Marvel heroes and villains than by going back to where they started. (And those who finish and want more can also check out the continuing adventures of Natasha and Yelena in the 2001 sequel series by Devin Grayson, Greg Rucka, and Scott Hampton).

The Eternals by Jack Kirby (The Eternals)

Marvel Studios Kevin Feige said a lot of things about all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe projects in Phase 4 at San Diego Comic-Con, but one of his most intriguing promises was that Chloe Zhao’s The Eternals will be “full Jack Kirby.” Naturally, that made selecting reading material for preparation tremendously easy, as our job now is simply to more emphatically point at that material.

Jack Kirby created The Eternals upon his return to Marvel Comics in the mid-1970s, having left to work a spell at DC Comics. Having not had the opportunity to complete his “New Gods” series while working for the competition, Kirby introduced something similar yet fresh to the Marvel Universe with immortal heroes and vile Deviants that have secretly existed on Earth for centuries. This original run will not only help you get to know important key characters, like Ikaris, Kingo, Makkari, Phastos, Ajak, Sprite, Gilgamesh, and Thena (who all make their debuts), but also expose you to some of Kirby’s most exquisite, thought-provoking, and mind-expanding artwork.

The Hands Of Shang-Chi, Master Of Kung Fu by Various (Shang-Chi And The Legend Of Ten Rings)

Thanks in large part to the popularity of Bruce Lee and television shows like Kung Fu, the martial arts genre was booming back in the early 1970s, and Marvel Comics very much wanted to take advantage. Eventually it led to the creation of characters like Iron Fist, White Tiger, and Colleen Wing – but Shang-Chi preceded them all, and it’s his earliest adventures that are worth checking out prior to the titular hero’s debut in Shang-Chi And The Legend Of Ten Rings in 2021.

Admittedly you’re not likely going to find much in the way of plot points that directly matchup between the “Hands Of Shang-Chi, Master Of Kung Fu” comics and the upcoming film, as The Mandarin and The Ten Rings weren’t really part of Shang-Chi’s initial legend. What you will get out of the read, though, is a sense of the character’s history, how he fits into the larger Marvel Universe, the extent of his powers, and perhaps a taste of the very specific artistic feel that director Destin Daniel Cretton will hopefully bring to the big screen.

Doctor Strange by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness)

This is the exact same series we would have recommended prior to the release of Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange in Phase 3, but it’s hard to imagine that the filmmaker will stray far away from this remarkable run as he ventures into the making of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. More specific source material will surely become evident as we learn more about the blockbuster’s plot and central antagonist (similar to how the origin story in the first movie borrowed heavily from Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin’s “Doctor Strange: The Oath” limited series), but the original Stan Lee and Steve Ditko issues will surely continue to serve as inspiration for the sequel.

In addition to the fact that many of Doctor Strange’s key villains were introduced in the 1960s run (like Mordo, Dormammu, and Nightmare), the unique visual style of Steve Ditko will undoubtedly be key to the film’s larger aesthetic. There are frames in Doctor Strange that are clearly lifted directly from Ditko’s drawings, most notably in the famed Magical Mystery Tour sequence – and there’s a very real possibility that we’ll see even more direct influence as things get even crazier in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.

Sam Wilson: Captain America by Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuna, Paul Renaud, and Angel Unzueta Galarza (The Falcon And The Winter Soldier)

In 2015, after years of speculation that Bucky Barnes a.k.a. The Winter Soldier would eventually become the new Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics threw an interesting new possibility for the patriotic hero into the ether. Following events that saw Steve Rogers rapidly age and no longer be able to serve with the Avengers, it was officially declared that Sam Wilson a.k.a. The Falcon would succeed him and take on the Captain America mantle. Now we’re about to see that same passing of the torch in live-action, courtesy of the upcoming The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Disney+ show, and what better way to get ready for the series than by reading the comics where it already played out?

With the show still in fairly early development, we can’t be certain exactly how much will be used from the run written by Nick Spencer and with art by Daniel Acuna, Paul Renaud, and Angel Unzueta Galarza – but at the very least fans can become more accustomed to seeing a different hero carrying the shield. It’s also worth noting that the “Sam Wilson: Captain America” run also features appearances by both Bucky and Baron Zemo – both of whom will play key roles in the live-action take, so that’ll provide a nice glimpse into the future as well.

The Vision by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Michael Walsh (WandaVision)

We really don’t know much of anything at all about the plot of WandaVision or the circumstances that lead into it, but one thing we can infer from the information that we have thus far is that it seems to be going for a kind of 1950s aesthetic – evidenced by the font being used for the logo looking like it was taken off of an appliance of the era. If that ultimately translates to a kind of Norman Rockwell’s Americana feel for the series, the presence of the android Vision leads one to think that the character’s eponymous 2015 series from Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Michael Walsh will serve as a perfect appetizer.

This award winning limited series follows Vision as he attempts to try and lead a life similar to a human’s, complete with an android wife, android children, and a suburban home. Though some of the neighbors are definitely a bit wary about their arrival, everything seems peachy keen on the surface – not dissimilar to a Norman Rockwell painting. However, reality does not exactly match up with presentation, as secrets, darkness, and danger linger. If WandaVision is fully confirmed to be taking inspiration from this work it would be tremendously exciting, but there are hiccups: Scarlet Witch isn’t really a character in the run, and it doesn’t quite directly explain how Vision is alive following the events of Avengers: Infinity War. This is something we fully acknowledge, which leads us to…

House Of M by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel (WandaVision)

Since her introduction in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scarlet Witch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen her abilities grow more and more powerful. Her ability to manipulate energy has allowed her to do some pretty remarkable things, and it’s not quite clear at this point what the ceiling is going to be. That being said, one important aspect of the character that has not yet been explored on screen is the way in which she is able to change reality. Of course, that’s a subject that perhaps could be a massive piece of the puzzle with WandaVision, and Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel’s “House Of M” is the arc you want to read to get a grasp on the full extent of what Scarlet Witch can do.

Admittedly this is a comic event that was very much tied into what was happening in the Marvel Universe when it was first released, so you may want to do some background research before just diving in – but the elevator pitch description of it is that an out-of-control Scarlet Witch changes reality so that mutants become the dominant species on Earth. Obviously this isn’t a specific plot that we can expect to be directly adapted for WandaVision, but it’s not a stretch to imagine that Wanda – inconsolably distraught following the death of her true love – forms a new existence where she is living a peaceful existence with Vision (which ties back into the previous section). This is just speculation, but “House Of M” will offer up some good background on the full extent of Scarlet Witch’s abilities regardless.

What If by Various (What If…?)

The situation with preparation material to get ready for Marvel’s upcoming animated What If…? series is a bit different than what’s going on with the rest of the Phase 4 slate – namely because of the nature of its existence within the legacy of Marvel Comics. The whole concept of “What If” isn’t about building full character arcs and multi-issue stories, but instead serving up one-shots that propose how things could have gone differently in previously published comics had a particular element been changed. Because of this, one can’t really recommend any specific run; all you can really do is check out a few issues and get a grasp on what the storytelling is bringing to the table.

Just like the books, the Disney+ series will feature an alien known as The Watcher narrating events and setting things up to learn how things would have played out in alternate circumstances. The comics set stories up like “What If Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben Had Lived?” and “What If Wolverine Had Killed the Hulk?” and you can pretty much pick and choose which issues you want to read based on the setups that interest you.

Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja (Hawkeye)

Similar to the case of The Eternals, this one is an easy recommendation, as Marvel Studios is doing absolutely nothing to disassociate the upcoming Disney+ Hawkeye show and the acclaimed 2012 Hawkeye limited series by Matt Fraction and David Aja. It starts with the fact that the logo for both the adaptation and source material are totally identical, and continues with the fact that it’s been confirmed that the plot will be used to introduce fans of the live-action material to the energetic, badass Kate Bishop.

You’ll have to check out 2005’s “Young Avengers” run to find the first appearance of Kate Bishop, but it’s the Fraction/Aja comics you want to check out if you want a full taste of the dynamic that she has with Clint Barton. The OG Avenger trains his pupil to basically take on the mantle of Hawkeye as they team up to take down some street level crime. Readers will also have the pleasant chance to meet Lucky, who is Clint’s dog and best known to Marvel fans for his love of pizza (and there is literally a zero percent chance that he doesn’t make it into the Disney+ show – especially following the scene-stealing part played by Goose the Cat in Captain Marvel).

Thor/The Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman (Thor: Love And Thunder)

Jack Kirby’s “The Eternals” wasn’t the only comic series that Kevin Feige specifically highlighted during the massive Marvel Studios panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. With writer/director Taika Waititi and stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson on stage, it was revealed by the Marvel Studios President that Thor: Love And Thunder would be adapting elements from the run on “Thor” by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman – specifically by turning Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster into the new God of Thunder. And what better way to get ready for that 2021 action than by reading those specific comics?

Following a months-long, multi-issue tease that featured a mysterious new female Thor wield Mjolnir and don a face-concealing mask, Jane Foster was revealed as the powerful hero in July 2015, and while her book was interrupted by Marvel’s massive Secret Wars event right after the revelation, she came back in a new on-going series, “The Mighty Thor,” in 2016. Taika Waititi will surely be doing his own thing with the material when he makes Thor: Love And Thunder, but all the same time reading the books will give you some insight on where the movie is headed.

Surely this reading list will grow as we get to know more about each of Marvel’s Phase 4 projects and the specific material that filmmakers are working from, but all of this is definitely a place to start. So head to your local comic book shop and/or check out Marvel Unlimited, and also be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for a whole lot more of our Marvel Cinematic Universe coverage.

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Was Godzilla: King Of The Monsters A Victim Of Monster Movie Fatigue?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Why didn’t Godzilla: King of the Monsters make more money? Now that the movie’s theatrical release is winding down and the movie is out on Digital, with the Blu-ray to follow August 27, it’s a good time to look back at what happened, and if Godzilla vs. Kong will fare better at the box office in 2020.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters was released at the end of May 2019 as the third movie in the MonsterVerse, following the 2014 movie Godzilla as a sequel, and also following the 2017 King Kong reboot Kong: Skull Island.

Here’s how all three movies have done at the domestic and foreign box office markets, not adjusted for inflation:

Godzilla
Domestic: $200,676,069
Foreign: $328,400,000
Worldwide total: $529,076,069

Kong: Skull Island
Domestic: $168,052,812
Foreign: $398,600,000
Worldwide total: $566,652,812

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (as of 8/18/19)
Domestic: $110,381,893
Foreign: $275,400,000
Worldwide total to date: $385,781,893

As you can see, King of the Monsters made significantly less than the two previous MonsterVerse movies. Why? There are multiple reasons, including possibly the bad reviews from critics (41% on Rotten Tomatoes, vs 76% for Godzilla and 75% for Kong: Skull Island).

To me, the biggest reason of all was the insane amount of competition in early 2019. In May 2019 alone, Godzilla had to face Aladdin, John Wick 3, and Detective Pikachu, while they all faced the wrath of Avengers: Endgame, which would go on to be the highest-grossing movie of all time. There wasn’t enough air in the room. I don’t see 2020 having the same problem and, frankly, if I had a potential blockbuster scheduled for spring/summer 2019, I would’ve moved it. (Sounds like the 2020 box office could use the help.)

Forbes just offered an interesting argument for monster movie fatigue as a reason Godzilla: King of the Monsters didn’t perform to expectations. The five-year gap between Godzilla and King of the Monsters was cited as a potential factor, since in that time fans got to see two Jurassic World movies, Rampage, The Meg, Pacific Rim: Uprising (which didn’t do well either), and Kong: Skull Island.

You could argue Godzilla: King of the Monsters — even with some celeb cameos — also didn’t have the star power of Kong: Skull Island‘s Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, and John Goodman. That’s already half an Avengers movie.

If audiences are suffering from monster movie fatigue, that might be bad news for other future monster movies — including Jurassic World 3, but also Godzilla vs. Kong. But it will depend on the competition they ultimately end up facing at the ticket window. And it’ll also depend on the usual things like word-of-mouth buzz on whether the movie is any good. (I’m especially curious about Jurassic World 3, since Fallen Kingdom made a ton of money, but it wasn’t exactly a great movie by anyone’s standard. If you have a lame predecessor, it’s similar to a lackluster lead-in for a TV show.)

There’s so much competition out there in 2019. A movie doesn’t even have to be bad to get overlooked this year, it just has to be either average or open in the wrong month. I guess that’s an air quotes “problem” from here, to have too many options. But the longterm problem may be that studios don’t invest in the kinds of movies we do want to see, we just don’t have the time or money to see them in the theater right now. Will studios still spend nearly $200 million — the reported cost to make Godzilla: King of the Monsters — for movies just to stream on Netflix or Disney+? And how much would that dilute the experience of a film like King of the Monsters, which is gorgeous to look at just in photos on social media, never mind on the big screen?

Godzilla vs. Kong is currently scheduled for release on March 13, 2020. It was previously scheduled for dates in late May 2020. It could move to later in the year, as Warner Bros chairman Toby Emmerich warned back in June, saying he wanted to “deliver an A+ movie.” Check out everything we know so far about Godzilla vs. Kong.

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Kenneth Branagh’s Death On The Nile Is Lining Up An Awesome Cast

2017’s Murder on the Orient Express opened to mixed reviews, but that didn’t stop Warner Bros. from greenlighting a sequel. Like the first film, the sequel Death on the Nile will be directed by Thor helmer/Harry Potter actor/Shakespeare enthusiast Kenneth Branagh. This new film is also taking after its predecessor in another way: by showcasing a stacked cast that may, admittedly, be the film’s major selling point.

Death on the Nile follows vacationing Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who must set aside his leisure time to solve the murder of a young heiress. Not much else is known about Branagh’s still-distant interpretation, except, of course, for its impressive cast. Logan, Blade Runner 2049, and Alien: Covenant co-writer Michael Green is writing the script. Green is a fabulous screenwriter (arguably among Hollywood’s better ones) and doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as he should.

Leading the Death on the Nile cast is Branagh as Hercule Poirot, along with Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer, with Russell Brand currently circling a role in the film as well.

Gal Gadot is best known for her role as Wonder Woman in the DCEU, but she also starred in multiple Fast and Furious movies and tried out comedy in Keeping Up with the Joneses. Armie Hammer is probably best known for Call Me by Your Name, The Social Network, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Russell Brand, a British actor and comic, appeared in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, the first two Despicable Me movies, and a handful of other films you’ve definitely heard of.

Kenneth Branagh gained popularity as a director of Shakespeare adaptations before appearing in blockbusters such as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He also directed 2011’s Thor, one of the earliest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Based on Agatha Christie’s bestselling novel of the same name, Murder on the Orient Express, starred Branagh, Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, and Josh Gad. It made an impressive $352.7 million worldwide off a reported $55 million production budget, per Box Office Mojo. Death on the Nile is also an adaptation of a popular Agatha Christie novel.

Both Murder on the Orient Express and the anticipated Death on the Nile were published in the 1930s and have both been adapted numerous times. It will be interesting to see what Branagh does with the material and if he strays too far from Christie’s original story. If Murder on the Orient Express is any indication of where he might take things, then we should be in good hands. He did a fabulous job with that film so color us excited.

Death on the Nile is scheduled for release on December 20, 2020. Filming will reportedly begin at the end of September. We’ve still got a long way to go before it hits our eyeballs, but what do you think of what you know so far? Worth it? Not worth it? Rental-worthy at best? Let us know in the comments below and, to hold you over, take a look at our list of upcoming 2019 films.

Good Boys Box Office: R-Rated Comedy Makes A Comeback As The Angry Birds Movie 2 Underperforms

 

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Public hunger for R-rated comedies hasn’t exactly been voracious in the last few years. While the genre producing titles that made $100 million used to be a common thing, the market in the last few years has been kind of sad. Fortunately, the release of Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky’s Good Boys seems to have energized things a bit, and with any luck we will hopefully start seeing a comeback for R-rated comedies in the near future.

Check out the full Top 10 below, and join me after for analysis!

1. Good Boys*

$21,000,000 Total: $21,000,000

LW: N

THTRS: 3,204

2. Hobbs & Shaw

$14,140,000 Total: $133,741,600

LW: 1

THTRS: 3,757

3. The Lion King

$11,900,000 Total: $496,107,985

LW: 3

THTRS: 3,560

4. The Angry Birds Movie 2*

$10,500,000 Total: $16,237,146

LW: N

THTRS: 3,869

5. Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

$10,050,000 Total: $40,216,784

LW: 2

THTRS: 3,135

6. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged*

$9,000,000 Total: $9,000,000

LW: N

THTRS: 2,853

7. Dora And The Lost City Of Gold

$8,500,000 Total: $33,909,724

LW: 4

THTRS: 3,735

8. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

$7,600,000 Total: $114,348,212

LW: 5

THTRS: 2,504

9. Blinded By The Light*

$4,450,000 Total: $4,450,000

LW: N

THTRS: 2,307

10. The Art Of Racing In The Rain

$4,403,000 Total: $16,881,187

LW: 6

THTRS: 2,765

There is perhaps no better indicator of the slowdown in the demand for R-rated comedies than the terrible streak that Good Boys just broke. Prior to this weekend, the last title in the subgenre to open at number one was Ben Falcone’s The Boss, which was released in April of 2016. We’ve certainly seen some excellent releases between then and now, including Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon’s Sausage Party, Kay Cannon’s Blockers, and Jonathan Levine’s The Night Before, but they each opened in second, third, and fourth place, respectively.

So what allowed Good Boys to succeed where others fell short? It certainly must have helped that the film rode into theaters on a impressively positive wave of buzz that started gaining momentum back in the spring when the movie premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. While comedy can be divisive among critics, as reactions to material are always going to be about subjective taste dispositions, the significant majority of them gave the release a thumbs up, as the title is now rocking a “Certified Fresh” stamp on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 80 percent score. Opening night audiences also gave it their seal of approval, as CinemaScore calculated a “B+” grade from early crowds.

All the more impressive about this big win for Good Boys is the fact that it not only had a good number of films it was competing with in its opening weekend, but that the titles weren’t just mid-August studio dumps. Each of the new releases could have performed well given what recent trends have shown us, but the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-produced feature about children embroiled in a mature adventure proved to be the most attractive.

It’s a pretty nice boost for Universal Pictures too, which has now spent three straight weeks with releases at the top of the chart. While perhaps not up to the expectations made for the features in the main Fast & Furious series, David Leitch’s Hobbs & Shaw has been performing solidly this month, and held strong at number two this weekend. Adding the foreign market totals to the $133.7 million that the film has made in North America thus far, its global gross now stands at $457 million, which ranks it as the fifth biggest title thus far in the franchise, behind only James Wan’s Furious 7 ($1.516 billion) , F. Gary Gray’s The Fate Of The Furious ($1.236 billion), and the Justin Lin’s two-fer Fast & Furious 6 ($788.7 million), and Fast Five ($626.1 million).

On that note, it definitely helps Good Boys that every other wide release this weekend basically under-performed. The most significant example of this is the performance by Sony Pictures Animation’s The Angry Birds Movie 2, which yet another sequel to struggle in 2019 – following in the footsteps of F. Gary Gray’s Men In Black International, Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life Of Pets 2, Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix, and Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Simply put, when put next to the numbers put up by its predecessor, the new animated release looks really, really bad. Released back in May 2016, the first Angry Birds Movie made nearly four times as much in its first three days as the follow-up, and it’s hard to imagine the audience significantly growing with time just because of various back-to-school activities that dominate this time of year.

Meanwhile, Johannes Roberts’ 47 Meters Down: Uncaged also performed worse than the original, but the comparison is much less extreme – with the difference being only about $2 million. That being said, while 2017’s 47 Meters Down was able to ultimately make a nice chunk of change by only very slowly dropping out of the Top 10 over the course of a lukewarm summer, this one isn’t predicted to have the same kind of legs. It was an interesting play moving to mid-August, particularly because of the success found by Jon Turteltaub’s The Meg around this time last year, but that blockbuster success is not going to be replicated.

Last among the new wide releases on the Top 10 is Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded By The Light, which had to settle for a take of $4.5 million and ninth place. Given the way that musicals and music-themed projects have been hitting recently (Danny Boyle’s Yesterday crossed $71 million this week), one might have hoped that this ode to the songs of Bruce Springsteen would have performed better, but it’s not off to a great start. At the very least it can say that it did better than Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which, despite being based on a best selling book, wasn’t able to make it on to the chart with a disappointing take of only $3.5 million (only good enough for 11th place).

After putting out 10 new wide releases in the last 14 days, Hollywood is slowing things down a bit this week, but still has some interesting movies ready to hit theaters. This includes Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s horror feature Ready Or Not, Ric Roman Waugh’s action thriller Angel Has Fallen, and Alex Kendrick’s religious drama Overcomer. Will Good Boys be able to continue being the number one movie in America, or will we have a new title in the headline next time around? Be sure to tune in next Sunday to see how these new features wind up shaking things up at the box office.

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The Iron Giant’s Brad Bird Admits He Messed Up The Movie’s Marketing

Released in 1999, The Iron Giant remains one of the most remarkable animated films in recent memory. It marked the directorial debut of Brad Bird, who would, in later years (and listed in no particular order here), script and direct both Incredibles movies and Ratatouille for Pixar, move to live-action with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland, and subsequently become one of the industry’s best, most innovative directors. Unfortunately, according to Bird (and box office numbers), The Iron Giant was a commercial dud. And, also according to Bird, he was partially to blame.