It’s Time for MORTAL KOMB-AAAT!
After Godzilla vs. Kong spent three weeks at the top of the box office, it was knocked out in a grisly fatality by a newcomer – Mortal Kombat. A feature film debut by director Simon McQuoid grossed $23,3 million in its inaugural weekend. Based on a long-running series of computer fighting games infamous for their violence, Mortal Kombat features Mehcad Brooks (Supergirl), Chin Han (The Dark Knight), Jessica McNamee (The Meg), Hiroyuki Sanada (Westworld), Lewis Tan (Deadpool 2), and Joe Taslim (The Raid).
In second place with $21,1 million is yet another newcomer – anime film Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train. This adaptation of the shōnen manga series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge came out in Japan last October. According to the Box Office Mojo, Demon Slayer has since then grossed over $407,7 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of the pandemic!
Godzilla vs. Kong is now in third place at the weekend box office, with $4,3 million. Its producers at Legendary can be satisfied: over the last five weeks, the latest Monsterverse film earned $406,5 million worldwide. Ilya Naishuller’s action thriller Nobody is coming in fourth, with $1,7 million and a total gross of $38,2 million. Finally, in fifth place is Disney’s family adventure film Raya and the Last Dragon lagging behind Nobody by around $1,100.
Netflix Presents Its Slate of Summer Movies
Last week, we reported Netflix’s ambitious plans to spend around $17 billion on original programming in 2021. This week, the streaming service released a preview presenting some of the films coming to your eyeballs soon. Among the smorgasbord of titles, there are some stand-outs.
For example, there’s Things Heard & Seen, a psychological horror film based on a novel by Elizabeth Brundage. It features, among others, Amanda Seyfried (Mank), James Norton (The Nevers), Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things), Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul), F. Murray Abraham (Grand Budapest Hotel), and Karen Allen (Raiders of the Lost Ark). Then there’s the Fear Street trilogy of horror movies, based on young adult horror novels by R. L. Stine. And let us not forget Zack Snyder is directing an action horror film Army of the Dead.
Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) is directing a survival thriller Oxygen, starring Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds). Veteran action movie screenwriter Jonathan Hensleigh will direct the action-thriller The Ice Road, featuring Liam Neeson (The Marksman). Jean-Claude van Damme (The Expendables 2) will star in the action film The Last Mercenary, while Jason Momoa (Aquaman) will play a lead in the revenge thriller Sweet Girl.
Finally, there are animated movies like Vivo by Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps, The Croods) and The Mitchells vs. The Machines, directed by Mike Rianda (Gravity Falls). But the craziest of the bunch may be America: The Motion Picture. Directed by Matt Thompson (Archer), this animated film will follow a chainsaw-wielding George Washington assembling a team of heroes from all over US history to fight the hated British.
World of Darkness Games to Become a Multimedia Franchise
Eric Heisserer, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of Arrival, wants to produce a shared multimedia universe based on World of Darkness role-playing games. He is developing this idea alongside writer and producer Christine Boylan (Cloak & Dagger, Constantine, The Punisher) According to The Hollywood Reporter, they’re supported by the production company Hivemind (The Expanse, The Witcher) and Paradox Interactive, the current holders of licensing rights to World of Darkness.
World of Darkness began in the early 1990s when White Wolf Publishing released Mark Rein-Hagen’s Vampire: The Masquerade. It was a tabletop role-playing game where players portrayed monsters hiding in the contemporary world. While Vampire focused on the titular bloodsuckers, the following games expanded the universe – called World of Darkness – by focusing on werewolves, ghosts, mages, and similar staples of the gothic horror, updating them for modern times.
Vampire went through several editions, as well as branching into novels, comic books, larps (live-action role-playing), and computer games like Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. What is less known is that, in the mid-1990s, soap opera mogul Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place) created a TV series based on World of Darkness. Titled Kindred: The Embraced, the show premiered on Fox but got pulled off after only eight episodes due to low ratings.