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Don’t Be Afraid of the Box Office (Unless You’re a Studio Exec)



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Box Office Mojo

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How much did Hurricane Irene whipping up the Northeast affect this weekend’s box office can only be guesstimated. This was a terrible weekend at the box office, especially for genre films, and that probably would have remained the case even if the East Coast hadn’t been bracing for Irenageddon™.

The Guillermo Del Toro produced remake of the classic 1974 made-for-TV fright flick Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark saw the light of theaters this past weekend and the best to be said for it is that it held its own better than the Fright Night remake and Final Destination 5. Opening third behind the sentimental juggernaut The Help and the PG-13 hitwoman actioner Colombiana, Box Office Mojo has the Troy Nixey supernatural horror remake raking in about $8.7 million, another disappointing opening for a horror movie this August.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes finally dropped out of the top two, down to fourth place with about $8.6 million for the weekend. The prequel/reboot is up to $148 million domestically alone and yet, surprisingly, there has yet to be official word of a sequel.

Last weekend saw the 3D remakes of Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian open DOA at the box office. Their corpses continued to rot this weekend.

Conan the Barbarian dropped almost 70% with a $3.1 million 8th place finish for a two week total of barely $16 million. Keep in mind it cost $90 million to produce. If this doesn’t get Marcus Nispel sent to director’s jail for a few years, nothing will.

Fright Night once again pulled up lame finishing 9th with $3 million. The producers had better hope that David Tennant is a big enough name in his home country to make the movie a runaway blockbuster in Britain when it opens there in a week.

Final Destination 5 can pretty much say hello to second-run theaters at this point having now dropped completely out of the top 10 to 12th place with $2.4 million. The fifth installment in this franchise looks as if it will peter out at around $40 million. The prospects for a sixth Final Destination look dim. Fans of the franchise might have to wait a decade when Alex Aja helms the inevitable remake.

Next weekend will see two wild cards enter the fray in the form of Shark Night 3D and Apollo 18. Both are PG-13, and while I would say that sets them up to cancel each other out, Apollo 18 has a gimmick to it that appears to be more intriguing to potential moviegoers than its rival, a shark movie so generic looking it appears to already have been creatively dwarfed by most of its low budget made-for-Syfy counterparts. Apollo 18 could be a surprise hit. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the box office total for Shark Night 3D next week simply reads: “A guy in California named Buz.”

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Jesper Kyd Returning to Score Vermintide 2



From the cover of Kyd's first Vermintide OST

Get your headphones ready, Warhammer fans because State of Decay and Darksiders 2 composer Jesper Kyd is back to score the upcoming Warhammer title Vermintide 2! The game will be coming to PC and consoles early this year.

Kyd was inspired by Norse mythology, utilizing ancient tribal music as well as dark fantastical elements to build upon the acoustic soundscapes he composed for the first Vermintide game. Channeling his own Scandinavian roots, Kyd will blend Viking and Norse-inspired vocals with ritualistic percussion styles to create a unique soundtrack experience.

Three tracks from the score can be heard below.

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Like Me – Will You Like This Dystopian Thriller?



Starring Addison Timlin, Ian Nelson, Larry Fessenden

Directed by Robert Mockler

While Like Me is not dystopian in the classic science-fiction sense, it does aptly put the downer vibe across. If the present is abysmal, then the future is downright hopeless. We learn this as we follow an unhinged teenage loner called Kiya (Addison Timlin) on a hollow crime spree that she broadcasts on social media. At first the world “likes” her—with the exception of YouTube rival Burt (Ian Nelson), who disdainfully denounces her viral videos—but pride goes before the fall, and Kiya’s descent is spectacular.

If you’ve peeped the trailer for Like Me, then you’re probably expecting a horror movie. I mean, they’ve got the requisite menacing masked baddie and they’ve got genre icon Larry Fessenden in a major role—those are a couple of the key ingredients, right? Yes they are, but this simmering, shimmering stew of Natural Born Killers, Excision and King Kelly, it boils down to a whole lotta nothing. Like Me is sort of a drama, kind of a road trip flick, and almost a thriller. It succeeds at none yet does stand on its own as a compelling collection of cool visuals and pertinent performances. But is that enough?

While Kiya is a compelling character on the surface, there’s barebones beneath. Sure, she’s a Millennial mind-fed on random online clips and snappy soundbites—but what turned her into a psychopath? Was she born that way? Is social media to blame? We’ll never know, because not a hint is given. I don’t mind ambiguity, but even a morsel would have been welcome in this case. As Kiya ramps up her reckless exhibitionistic extremes, the stakes are never raised. In the end, who cares? Maybe that’s the point.

A word of warning: If you plan on watching this movie while chomping snacks…don’t. There is stomach-turning scene after vomit-inducing scene of orgiastic easting, binging, and the inevitable purging. I’m sure it’s all metaphorical mastication, a cutting comment on disposable consumption. I get it. But I don’t wanna look at it, again and again and again. Having said that, Like Me is an experimental film and in its presentation of such grotesquery, it’s quite accomplished. Montages, split-screens and jittered motions are scattered throughout, showing us all sorts of unpleasant things…Kudos to the editor.

I didn’t hate Like Me. But I do think one has to be in the mood for a movie such as this. It’s not an easy or entertaining watch, but it is a peculiar and thought-provoking one. There’s some style and mastery behind the camera, and I am curious to see what first-time writer-director Rob Mockler comes up with next.

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Last Toys on the Left

Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can



It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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