Box Office: Men in Black Zap Avengers, Chernobyl Diaries Nuked, Battleship Continues to Sink - Dread Central
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Box Office: Men in Black Zap Avengers, Chernobyl Diaries Nuked, Battleship Continues to Sink

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Box Office: Men in Black Zap Avengers, Chernobyl Diaries Nuked, Battleship Continues to SinkThe Avengers‘ reign of box office tyranny has finally come to an end thanks to the triple threat of Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin.

Radioactive Russian mutants failed to scare up much money while a pair of big budget bombs prepare for their own memorial services this Memorial Day weekend.

The good news for Men in Black 3 is that the threequel sci-fi comedy dethroned The Avengers after four weeks on top of the box office by taking in about $70 million. The bad news? It was expected to open to about $90 million, and reports have the movie’s hefty price tag at somewhere in the neighborhood of $375 million after combining its budget, marketing, and distribution costs. Will Smith’s first film after a four-year hiatus opened big internationally so the studio probably isn’t worried too much about losing Battleship-sized money.

Speaking of the rapidly sinking Battleship, its $10.8 million weekend haul was down nearly 60% from its disastrous opening weekend. Domestic totals have it at just over $44 million. To call it a mega-sized bomb would be putting it politely. So big a bomb it’s rather surprising it hasn’t gotten as much publicity as John Carter got when it lost upwards of $200 million for Disney. One thing is certain: Say ‘adios’ to any other movies based on classic games for the foreseeable future.

Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity rub did not generate a whole lot of box office for The Chernobyl Diaries. Its $8 million sixth place opening might be considered good for what amounts to a low budget horror flick that probably would have gone direct-to-DVD without having producer-writer Peli’s name attached to it, but that $8 million is even softer than the openings of the likes of Apollo 18 and Orphan, neither of which were box office successes. That the movie got mostly negative reviews and deplorable word-of-mouth (a very bad “D+” Cinemascore rating) doesn’t expect it to make much more than that.

Dark Shadows has been relegated to the shadows pretty much since it opened three weeks ago and now appears to be just about ready to return to the coffin from whence it came. Down to sixth place with $7.5 million and a $65 million sum, expect whatever project Johnny Depp and Tim Burton team up for next to be a much safer bet than a horror comedy based on a late 1960’s cult TV series.

Next week brings us the dark fantasy Snow White and the Huntsman starring Bella Swan-Cullen, The Mighty Thor, and Aeon Flux.

Next week is also the release of Piranha 3DD – sort of. Its box office performance may not even be relevant with word being that it is only going to open on less than a hundred screens in the US. Has anyone even seen a TV spot for it? When Dimension said it would be opening in theaters and on VOD, it seems they mainly meant VOD.

Box Office: Men in Black Zap Avengers, Chernobyl Diaries Nuked, Battleship Continues to Sink

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George A. Romero’s Daughter, Tina, Wrote a Script For Queens of the Dead

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The loss last year of director George A. Romero was a huge blow to the horror community, as well as the filmmaking community at large. The passing of the man responsible for creating the modern day zombie and whose work influenced “The Walking Dead”, Dead Alive, 28 Days Later, and Jordan Peele’s Get Out was felt far and wide but we take solace knowing that his work and legacy will live on forever.

Something that brings a smile to my face is hearing that his daughter, Tina, who DJ’s under the name DJ TRx, has written a screenplay for a zombie film that is called Queens of the Dead. And yes, it’s very gay! Romero has not only written the script but also plans on directing the film herself.

Romero tells The Saunder Blog about the film, saying, “Queens of the Dead is a fusion of two huge parts of my world: zombies and Gay nightlife. It’s a tribute to my father as well as my entrée into the genre he grandfathered. I can’t say too much yet, but what I can tell you is that this film will have all the hallmarks of a George A. Romero classic: farce, politics, heroes, assholes, and most importantly, herds of silly and slow moving walkers that you can’t help but love. But I’m doing it Tina-style, and bringing the glitter, choreography, queers & queens.

Romero’s father always brought some sort of social message into his work, so to hear that she will continue that tradition is inspiring, especially since it comes on a topic that is so discussed and topical.

If you want to read more about Romero and her DJ career, click on the link above.

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Local 58 Contingency Emergency Broadcast

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

As a child of the Cold War born in the 1970s and traumatized by films like The Day After and Threads, I remember immediately panicking every time an Emergency Broadcast broke into a TV show I was watching. That alarming tone made my stomach drop and in the moments before it was confirmed to be “only a test” I had already imagined a barrage of nuclear warheads bursting overhead.

My heart went out to the residents of Hawaii who, due to a false alarm, believed a missile attack was imminent this weekend. For almost 40 minutes, families scrambled into fallout shelters, bathrooms, and even storm drains, believing war had begun between the United States and North Korea. Even after the all-clear was announced and the warning revealed as a mistake, nerves were severely rattled. I can only imagine the potential long-term damage done to the psyches of Hawaii’s youngest residents.

For a taste of the pandemonium that occurred, check out an excerpt from CNN’s reporting below.

While the shock must have been unprecedented for most, a bizarre alert that accidentally aired in the late 1960s puts the Hawaii debacle to shame. What viewers of a local station saw just before the end of programming at 3 am was a message announcing the fall of the US Government, and included instructions for committing suicide rather than surrendering to enemy forces.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

The message bore the seal of The U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, included a statement from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and warned that failure to commit suicide as instructed would have consequences:

“Your local law enforcement has been ordered to ensure your compliance,” the message cautioned. “It is against the law to delay.” The final instructions remind adult viewers to put down their children and pets first while promising “There is nothing to fear.” Though the station later posted a statement ensuring viewers the message was a hoax, the potential loss of life this broadcast could have inspired is staggering. Have a look:

If the Local 58 Contingency, as it’s become known, seems too outlandish to be true, that’s because it isn’t. Though the video doesn’t include an admission of fiction, it’s written and directed by Kris Straub. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the writer of the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, recently adapted into a TV series on SyFy.

Still, the vintage look of the Local 58 Contingency, not to mention the current climate of heightened tensions between American and a rogue nuclear nation, make this video a truly terrifying viewing experience.

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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The Housemaid Haunts a New Trailer

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Here’s the thing… if we had the choice between cleaning up our own house or being haunted by a vengeful spectral servant of sorts, well… just hand us a friggin’ mop, wouldja already? Still, in the case of The Housemaid, it looks like nothing is gonna stop her from sensing shivers! Dig on this new trailer.

Derek Nguyen directs the flick, which stars Kate Nhung, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan, Svitlana Kovalenko, and Rosie Fellner. Look for IFC Midnight’s release of The Housemaid coming to select theaters, VOD, and via Digital platforms in the U.S. on February 16, 2018.

Synopsis:
A forbidden passion awakens vengeful spirits within a haunted mansion in this bloodcurdling, erotic tour-de-force.

Vietnam, 1953: Linh (Nhung Kate), a poor, orphaned young woman, finds employment as a housemaid in a crumbling rubber plantation presided over by the emotionally fragile French officer Sebastien Laurent (Jean-Michel Richaud). Soon, a torrid love affair develops between the two – a taboo romance that rouses the ghost of Laurent’s dead wife, who won’t rest until blood flows.

Submerged in moody Gothic atmosphere, this stylish supernatural saga confronts the dark shadows of Vietnam’s colonial past while delivering heart-stopping scares.

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