Entries by Nick Banks

‘Glass’ Proves to Be Breakable at Weekend Box Office

M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass entered the Martin Luther King weekend with some lofty expectations, as some estimates placed the film’s debut in the $60 to $70 million range.  Unfortunately, that Glass wasn’t shatter-proof, as the latest twist-filled film from Shyamalan generated only $40.5 million over the Thursday to Sunday frame.

Shyamalan (a director with a more than inconsistent track record for both box office and critical successes-anyone remember his adaptation of The Last Air Bender?) faced virtually no new competition over the long weekend, as studios believed the hype and intentionally kept their films away from the sequel to Split and Unbreakable.  The reviews for Glass certainly didn’t help its performance, as the film currently clocks in with a 35% fresh rating (and 24% from top critics) on Rotten Tomatoes. Combine those stats with a lukewarm audience response, with a “B” grade from exit polling company Cinemascore, and you have a recipe for disaster only rivaled by the director’s brief foray into the seedy world of education reform (in 2013, Shyamalan tried to cash in on the trend with his expose entitled I Got Schooled).  Glass should continue to turn a modest profit, as it faces little competition over the next few weeks, but Shyamalan’s performance may serve as a bump in the road for his comeback tour (and no one is asking for sequels to After Earth, The Village, or Lady in the Water). read more read more

The Original Horror Book Store Dark Delicacies Needs Your Help

Dark Delicacies has been a staple for horror fans and creators in the Los Angeles area since founders Del and Sue Howison opened the doors in 1994.  The shop quickly became known as a place for writers, artists, and filmmakers to not only sell their work, but also to meet, greet, and interact with fans.

Like many other brick-and-mortar specialty stores, Dark Delicacies found it difficult to cope with rising rental costs and earlier this year, the co-founders considered shuttering the very first horror themed book store in the United States.  Due to a great outpouring of support from the horror community, the Howisons decided to move the world-famous horror hang-out to a new location (with a more reasonable rental charge) so the legacy of Dark Delicacies could continue. read more read more

‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Revival Headed to Netflix

Unsolved Mysteries, one of the first series on television to profile true crime and paranormal cases before the advent of reality of tv and 24 hour cable stations, is about to return to the airwaves.  The series new home will be streaming giant Netflix, and its head architect happens to be Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy.

According to Deadline, “Levy is overseeing the revamp in association with Cosgrove-Meurer Productions, the original production company run by the show’s creators John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer. The latter will show run the series with Cosgrove, Levy and Josh Barry as exec producers. Robert Wise is co-exec producer and showrunner with Dunn Meurer.” read more read more

Syfy Cancels ‘Channel Zero’ Anthology

Fans of Syfy’s horror anthology Channel Zero got some bad news today, as the network cancelled the series after four seasons.  Creator Nick Antosca broke the news on instagram stating that “I loved making this show and I would have loved to do more… but I can’t complain too much about doing 4 stories I loved with people who I loved working with.”

The creator was gracious in defeat, thanking Syfy for the opportunity.  He also made sure to thank the “…the authors of the original creepypasta stories. Kris Straub, Brian Russell, Kerry Hammond, and Charlotte Bywater” (Slender Man never made it to the series, but it would have probably done better on the small screen than last summer’s theatrical disaster). read more read more

‘Escape Room’ Continues to Impress at Weekend Box Office

Adam Robitel’s Escape Room continued to defy expectations, finishing fifth at the weekend box office with an additional $8.9 million for a total of $32.5 million so far.

The film picked up where it left off last week, maintaining its theater count in spite of two new wide releases (The Upside and A Dog’s Way Home) and continued competition from Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, and Mary Poppins Returns.  Escape Room’s box office only declined 51% this week, which is a better than normal drop for most films. When compared to recent entries from the horror genre such as the Nazi zombie splatfest Overlord (which dropped 63% in its second weekend and finished with only a $41 million gross world-wide) and The Possession of Hannah Grace (with a similar decline, but much less in revenue, ending with only $35 million world-wide), Escape Room seems to be bucking typical trends and surviving in a crowded marketplace. read more read more

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark Discusses Potential Return of ‘Movie Macabre’

With the popularity of Joe Bob Briggs’ Shudder marathons, and 80s nostalgia still going strong, the return of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark to both the big and small screen may be imminent.

In a Friday Q & A session on Instagram, Elvira replied to a fan’s question about the return of Elvira’s Movie Macabre (possibly to Netflix) with the comment “I’m workin’ on it!”.  Movie Macabre is the horror hosting job that made Elvira famous, debuting in Los Angeles in 1981.  The wise-cracking Elvira would gain even greater fame when the program was syndicated around the country, showcasing some of the worst films, made palatable through the “Queen of Halloween’s” one-liners and skits before and after the commercial breaks.  In 2004, Elvira would make a brief return to horror hosting duties when Time Life released a series of dvds entitled Elvira’s Horror Classics (also available as a special box set). read more read more

Netflix Crows about ‘Bird Box’s’ Ratings

Netflix, which is notoriously tight-lipped about their television ratings, decided instead to emulate a peacock fanning his feather’s by proclaiming the success of their latest original film, Bird Box, which delivered almost 26 million viewers over the first seven days of release.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the movie everyone is tweeting about, finished “…second only to Stranger Things: Season 2, falling short by less than 1 million viewers.”  The mockingbirds over at Netflix, even went so far as to initially claim that Bird Box, “…posted the best seven-day showing for a Netflix film to date, saying that more than 45 million accounts worldwide checked out the film, more than a third of Netflix’s global subscribers. Netflix later explained that accounts had to watch at least 70 percent of the movie to be counted, but didn’t say how many viewers those 45 million accounts represented” (maybe the executives counting the numbers were blindfolded and lost count). read more read more

‘Escape Room’ Exceeds Expectations with Second Place Finish at Weekend Box Office

Escape Room entered a crowded marketplace this weekend, but Sony’s PG-13 “Saw-lite” film managed to finish second with an estimated $18 million at the box office.

Heading into the weekend, most analysts predicted that the film would be lucky to finish fifth, behind Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, and Bumblebee.  The fact that Escape Room defeated all but Aquaman (and played on 1,300 less screens than it’s closest competitor, Mary Poppins), is certainly impressive and proved that the timing was right for some jump scares and a younger, photogenic cast. read more read more

‘Halloween: The Changing Shape of an Iconic Series’: The Horror News Network Review

Fans and critics were certainly split over last October’s Halloween reboot.  While critics gave the film praise for updating the franchise for a modern audience, fans who have followed the series since John Carpenter’s original were less impressed, finding the film to be derivative and (the cardinal sin of any horror film) not scary enough.

Despite the mixed feelings about 2018’s version of Michael Myers tale, fans still hold the series in high regard, including some of the questionable later entries in the series.  Author Ernie Magnotta is one who certainly hold the films near and dear to his heart, but he also approaches the many Halloween films with a critical perspective in his new book Halloween: The Changing Shape of an Iconic Series. read more read more

Horror News Network’s Winter 2019 Movie Preview

Winter can be an unpredictable season.  Some days defy expectations and reach 60 degrees or better (in the parts of the country that actually have a traditional winter, not the fans lucky enough to live in California, Florida, or other more favorable environments) and then some days live up to their reputation, bringing sleet, snow, and the inevitable school closings and delays.

This winter’s horror film line-up is shaping up to be equally unpredictable and tumultuous.  Many projects that were scheduled for the months of January, February, and March have since disappeared (The Turning), have questionable release dates (Jacob’s Ladder on February 1st with no official trailer in site), or have been bought up by Netflix for home viewing (Eli).  Despite these inconsistencies, there are some firm release dates for horror fans this season, as well as a wide-variety of films to choose from, covering all of the sub-genres of  horror, ranging from thrillers to the ever-popular tales of possessed kids. read more read more