Horror Director Can’t Save ‘Shazam! 2,’ Latest Superhero to Tank at the Box Office
What used to be a sure-fire ticket grab is becoming just another unpopular station stop at the box office. We are talking of course about the MCU and DCEU. In particular, the latest perceived super-flop Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
Some of you may consider Shazam’s opening weekend of $30.5 million nothing to sneeze at, but consider Scream VI’s opening weekend totals of $44.5 million. A Scream movie out box-officing a comic book film? What world do we live in?! A horror one.
Given the dismal returns of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and its recent predecessors, the golden age of capes and superpowers seems to have died with Spiderman: No Way Home (no way home indeed).
There are many factors that could have contributed to its low ticket take. Critics weren’t really impressed with Shazam! and his friend’s latest adventure and its CinemaScore rests at a B+. Also, star Zachary Levi has been given some unpopular opinions on social media which may have led to him being soft-canceled.
Further, the whole DCEU is in the middle of a very public and tumultuous overhaul and a lot of these franchise characters are edging toward the chopping block. So viewers might be watching trailers, and muttering, “What’s the point?”
Still, Shazam’s weak opening may not be indicative of what it will do digitally. Home screens seem to be the catchall of failing franchises with subscribers squeezing out every penny of their hefty monthly membership prices instead of having to pay more for a “premium” theater seat.
But let’s talk about Shazam’s horror ties. Both the first movie and now its sequel was directed by someone who normally gets his money from jump scares. David F. Sandberg (Light’s Out, Annabell Creation). He gives the Shazam movies a slight horror feel with an emphasis on the supernatural, there is definitely some crossover.
But that doesn’t mean fans are likely to follow (remember The New Mutants?). In fact, legendary horror director Sam Raimi has some box office skin in the game this week with the diminishing sci-fi adventure 65, which he produced, starring Adam Driver. Not even an A-list star could pull this film out of the primordial muck as it sits sinking faster than a Tyrannosaurus in the La Brea tar pits. Raimi’s hand is also planted in the MCU with last year’s very successful Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with a $185 million opening weekend.
Another horror director, James Wan, is hoping to raise the sinking DCEU ship with his sequel to Aquaman called Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom set to be released by this Christmas (we’ll see).
The bottom line is that Shazam! Fury of the Gods isn’t really a bad movie. In fact, it might outshine the original as far as VFX and story. But seats are sitting empty in the cineplex nowadays for men and women in super suits which may or may not be because of behind-the-scenes drama. It may also be because avid fans aren’t finding anything fresh to consume and pushing the product to the back of the fridge in lieu of something, like Scream, which respects its base and delivers on its promises while still being aware of its expiry date.
‘King On Screen’ Trailer – A New Stephen King Documentary, Coming Soon
Today the official trailer has been released for a new documentary, King on Screen, that Dark Star Pictures has acquired the North American rights.
Over the years, Stephen King has gained recognition as an immensely popular and prolific author known for his mastery of horror, supernatural, and suspense. His writing style is often characterized by vivid descriptions and compelling characters, and he just has an overall knack for building that suspense that we’ve all come to enjoy.
King has the ability to create a sense of unease and terror in everyday settings; this has become quite a hallmark for the author. The dark side of human nature and how people treat each other is another trademark King often delivers within his characters.
The Synopsis: 1976; Brian de Palma directs Carrie, the first novel by Stephen King. Since then, more than 50 directors have adapted the master of horror’s books into more than 80 films and series, making him the most adapted author alive in the world. What’s so fascinating about him that filmmakers cannot stop adapting his works? KING ON SCREEN reunites the filmmakers that have adapted Stephen King’s books for cinema and TV, including Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Walking Dead), Tom Holland (The Langoliers, Chucky), Mick Garris (The Stand, Sleepwalkers) and Taylor Hackford (Dolores Claiborne, Ray). It is a movie made for the fans and with the fans, led by an international ambition.
Interviews also include Tim Curry, James Can, Dee Wallace, Mark L. Lester, Mike Flanagan, Vincenzo Natali, and Greg Nicotero. Directed by Daphné Baiwir
The documentary will be in select theaters on August 11, 2023, and On Demand and Blu-Ray on September 8, 2023.
A New Supernatural Thriller – ‘Hell Hath No Fury’ Is In The Works
A new supernatural thriller, Hell Hath No Fury, is currently in the works. (not to be confused with the 2021 film with the same title). Miles Crawford (Babylon), Sharlene Rädlein (Spinning Out of Control), Brooke Butler (Ozark), Jamie Zevallos (The Skulleton), and Lorenzo Antonucci (Paradise City) have signed on to the Karbis Sarafyan and Andrew Pearce-produced thriller film.
Written by Dennis Wilder and directed by Rustam Vakilov, Hell Hath No Fury follows Aidan (Crawford), an agnostic psychiatrist who runs a residential facility while grieving the loss of his newborn child with his wife. When one of his patients is brutally murdered just as a beautiful new employee comes into his life, he tries to balance saving his marriage with preventing the facility from closing. As the story progresses, Aidan must confront his own lack of faith as he realizes that these frightening new circumstances are anything but natural.
“The plot features a thrilling mix of psychological drama, horror, and supernatural elements that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats,” said producer Sarafyan. “It is a stroy about grief, faith, and the power of the human spirit to overcome even the most challenigng obstacles.”
Not much more is known about this new thriller. Check out the cast’s photos below, and check back with iHorror.com for more information on Hell Hath No Fury.
5 New Horror Movies You Can Stream Starting This Week
I am old enough to remember when after a new horror movie’s theatrical release, you would have to wait six months before you could find it at the local video store. That’s if it was even released in the area where you lived.
Some movies were viewed once and lost into the void forever. They were very dark times. Fortunately for us, streaming services have cut that wait down to a fraction of the time. This week we have some big hitters coming to VOD, so let’s jump right in.
Nicolas Cage (The Wicker Man) is really hard to put a label on. He has been in so many terrific films, while also ruining one of the greatest folk horror films ever made. For better or worse, his over-the-top acting has placed him in a special place in the hearts of many.
In this iteration of Dracula, he is joined by Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), and Awkwafina (The Little Mermaid). Renfield looks to be a more lighthearted take on the classic Bram Stoker tale. We can only hope that the awkward lovable style of Hoult mingles well with the zaniness that Cage is known for. Renfield will be streaming on Peacock June 9th.
Tony Todd (Candy Man) is one of horror’s greatest living icons. The man has a way of making evil sexy in an unmatched way. Joining Tony in this period piece is the marvelous Sheri Davis (The Amityville Moon).
This one feels fairly cut and dry. We get some old-timey racism which leads to a curse that haunts the land to this day. Mix in some voodoo for good measure and we have ourselves a horror movie. If you want an older feel to your new horror movie, this one’s for you. Devilreaux will be released to video on demand services on June 9th.
The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster
I have discussed my excitement over this film once before. Not only do we get a modern retelling of Dracula this week. We also get to look at Frankenstein’s monster through a new lens. It’s going to be a good week for classic literature fans.
This film has an amazing cast behind it. We get performances from Denzel Whitaker (The Great Debaters), Laya DeLeon Hayes (God of War: Ragnarök), and Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead). If creature features are more your thing, this is the film to watch this week.
The Angry Black Girl and Her Monster will hit video on demand services on June 9th.
If you aren’t already subscribed to Shudder, now is the time to try out a free trial. The Shudder originals can often be hit or miss. But they normally include some of the standout horror films of the year.
Brooklyn 45 looks like it is going to be one of the good ones. Already receiving massive praise before its release, the hype on this one has me excited. Starring Anne Ramsey (The Taking of Deborah Logan), Ron Rains (Teacher), and Jeremy Holm (Mr. Robot). Brooklyn 45 is my most anticipated new horror film this week. Brooklyn 45 will hit shudder June 9th.
She Came from the Woods
Tubi has been playing its hand at making its own horror films for a while now. Up until this point they have been less than stellar. But after seeing the trailer for She Came from the Woods, I have hope that’s all about to change.
This film isn’t giving us anything new, it’s an old camp legend gone awry. But what it is giving us is William Sadler (Tales from the Crypt) right back where he belongs. Fighting ghosts with a shotgun and loving every minute of it. If you are looking for a new horror movie that is easy to digest, this is the one for you. She Came from the Woods will hit Tubi June 10th.