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Category Archives: Andy Burns/Andy B

‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ debuts in 1st place at the box office

One franchise hits strong numbers, while another underperforms at the box office. Here’s what went down:

Kingsman: The Golden Circle had an excellent debut weekend, landing in first place with $39 million. That’s $3 million more than the original opened with in 2015, so while a huge improvement, it’s always a good thing when a sequel can open higher than its predecessor. In the case of Kingsman, it’s especially good, considering the reviews, while decent, haven’t been as strong as the first go-around.

It dropped to second place with $30 million, bringing its three week total to a fantastic $266.3 million. The film should have no problems crossing the $300 million mark sometime over the next two weeks.  Read the rest of this entry

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The week in horror: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Exorcist + more

Sabrina comes to the CW, The Exorcist returns, and more, as we look at some of the biggest stories from the week in horror.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is coming to the CW

A press release went out this week announcing that Riverdale would be getting a sister show in the form of a classic witch:

Get ready for an intense look into the world of magic and witchcraft with THE CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, a new one-hour dark drama/horror project based on the classic Archie Comics character. The new project is eyed to debut in The CW’s 2018-19 television season as a companion to RIVERDALE.

The new show will be written by Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer and RIVERDALE Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, directed by Lee Toland Krieger, and produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Brothers Studios. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, Jon Goldwater, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lee Toland Krieger serve as executive producers.

SABRINA will draw from the critically acclaimed CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA comic book series from Archie Comics written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack, detailing the compelling and shocking re-imagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s occult origins. This dark coming-of-age story deals with horror, the occult, and witchcraft and will see Sabrina struggle to reconcile her dual nature of being half-witch and half-mortal while protecting her family and the world from the forces of evil.

Casting and additional news on the new series will be revealed in the months to come.

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Kingsman and The LEGO Ninjago Movie enter the box office battle

Two new movies are looking to taking down horror’s reigning king, and either one of them might just do it. Here’s our prediction:

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle is the sequel to the surprise Matthew Vaughn-directed hit from 2015. The cast is key here, with Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges as new additions to the action franchise bringing the hype to the goodwill the series has already generated. The trailers have been strong, and audiences are not doubt ready to see the character of Eggsy back in action. Look for Kingsman: The Golden Circle to debut in first place with $39 million.

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Exclusive: Andy Burns talks to Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews of ‘The Houses October Built 2’

Houses October Built

Sometimes movies just come around and hit you in that sweet spot – that was the case with The Houses October Built and its sequel. To be honest, the first one, released back in 2014, absolutely slipped past me, but when I received an email about the sequel and whether I’d be interested in talking to any of the principles involved, and I went back and watched the original.

I loved it. The Houses October Built is a found footage/documentary style story about a group of friends looking for the most extreme haunt in America (haunts is the vernacular for haunted house attractions). Legendary among fans is The Blue Skeleton, which as the film shares, is supposed to be the most extreme of the extreme. Which means, of course, that our leads wind up facing off against what The Blue Skeleton has to offer.

The Houses October Built 2 picks up immediately following the first film, and serves as a chapter two rather than a sequel or follow-up. Both films give audiences a look into what goes into making a great haunt, as the ones depicting are the real deal. They also feature believeable performances from everyone involved, and make a strong case for the ongoing use of found footage in horror films, especially when its done right.

On that note, here is my email interview with series director/co-writer/actor Bobby Roe and co-writer/actor Zack Andrews. Be warned – there are spoilers contained for the first film here:

Andy Burns: Congrats on a great new franchise. I love what you guys have created with The Houses October Built. How did you two come up with the concept?

Zack Andrews:  Thank you very much.  We wanted to take a setting that we loved, Halloween haunted houses, and make a film around them that felt unique and not just the same old thing that has run the genre stale.  We knew we had an audience: over 35 million people a year go to these attractions and Americans spend over 8 billion dollars on Halloween every year.  So it was about finding a narrative that would allow us to shoot on real sets using real scare actors in order to take the audience on a genuine Halloween adventure.

Andy Burns: For those of that don’t know (including me), how did you two meet in the first place?

Bobby Roe: AP English. We grew up in the same town playing basketball and both loved movies. We’ve known each other for 25 years.  And actually, in high school in October, we used to love going to a horror movie and then hitting up one of our local haunted houses.

Andy Burns: I think we all know that at this time in the horror genre, found footage/documentary style films are really hit and miss. I’m happy to say you nailed the genre in my mind. Did you have any concerns with the first film wading into those waters? Read the rest of this entry

‘It’ holds off challengers to remain #1 at the box office

The biggest horror movie in decades continued to perform this weekend, holding off two new releases that could barely make an impact at the box office. Here’s what went down:

The Losers Club

 

It remained on top of the box office for the second week in a row, bringing in an estimated $60 million. That number is incredible, as it shows only a 51% drop from its opening weekend debut, meaning that It is appealing to mass numbers and not just the usual horror movie fans. The film’s total sits at $218.7 million, making it the biggest September release in film history.

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The week in horror: Jamie Lee Curtis, Leatherface + more

An iconic actress returns to an iconic role, playable Leatherface, and more, as we look at some of the biggest stories from the week in horror.

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Jamie Lee Curtis joins the cast of Halloween

Mark October 19th, 2018 down in your calendar. That’s when Blumhouse’s Halloween arrives in theatres, featuring a script from Danny McBride and director David Gordon Green, and starring the one and only Jamie Lee Curtis, who revealed in a tweet that she’d be returning to Haddonfield and her iconic role as Laurie Strode.

Same porch. Same clothes. Same issues. 40 years later. Headed back to Haddonfield one last time for Halloween,”

The new Halloween film will allegedly pick up after the first two films. John Carpenter is rumoured to be providing the score.

Leatherface joins the killer line-up in Dead By Daylight Read the rest of this entry

‘American Assassin’ and ‘mother!’ challenge ‘It’ at the box office

It’s going to be as big weekend at the box office, as two new releases are looking to take down last week’s massive number one. Will either of them be able to do it? Here’s our prediction:

American Assassin is based on Vince Flynn’s 2010 novel about a 23 year old orphan who is enlisted by the CIA to become a black ops recruit. The film stars Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Latham and Taylor Kitsch, all of whom, apart from Keaton who is currently riding a career resurgence, can’t open a film, even one with a built-in audience thanks to the success of the book. The film will have to settle for a second place showing with $12.5 million.

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Rest in peace, Len Wein

I am sitting on my couch and I’ve just read the news that Len Wein, the creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine and so many other great comic book characters, has passed away. My heart hurts. I interviewed Len last year for a cover story I wrote for Rue Morgue Magazine #169 on the 45th anniversary of Swamp Thing. I’m sharing it with you now, and I would encourage you to pick up the issue itself from the Rue Morgue store as well. Meanwhile, I wish all the best to Len’s family and friends. I hope they know what an incredible legacy he has left us.

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The Saga of the Swamp Thing

Since the days of the classic Universal Monsters and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, there’s always been something ominous about the swamp that has made its environs ripe for storytelling. What surrounds it, amongst the overgrowth of vegetation? What lies beneath the boggy marsh and water? What things make their home in its depths?

Swamp and muck monsters have long been a part of horror comics, dating all the way back to the 1940s with The Heap, considered by many historians to be the original comic book swamp character. The Heap first appeared in Air Fighter Comics, and was originally a World War I German pilot who, after crash landing in a European marsh, experienced a strange transformation into a living monster of vegetation. Various iterations on the theme would manifest themselves over the ensuing decades in stories like The Thing in the Swamp, The Monster from Swamp Sinister and Beware the Man-Lawn (for further exploration on the vast history of the swamp monster genre, Comic Book Creators’ Swampmen: The Muck-Monsters and Their Makers from TwoMorrows Publishing is an absolute must-read).

Come 1971 and a new creature would arrive to join the pantheon of monsters from the depths. Debuting in Issue 92 of the DC Comics anthology series House of Secrets in July 1971, Swamp Thing would be the creation of two men – writer Len Wein, who had previously worked on titles including The Flash and Superman and who would go on to create Wolverine for Marvel Comics, and a young, up and coming artist named Bernie Wrightson.

Wein and Wrightson’s first Swamp Thing tale is a gothic exploration set at the dawn of the 20th century, crafted to be the stand alone tale of scientist Alex Olsen, killed in a lab explosion by colleague Damien Ridge, who had set his eyes on Olsen’s wife Linda. Chemicals and supernatural forces in the swamp change Olsen into a swamp monster, which then saves Linda from the murderous Ridge. The story ends with Olsen’s Swamp Thing heading back into the muck, realizing he was no longer the man Linda loved.

However, that wasn’t the end.

The sales figures for House of Secrets Issue 92 were the biggest for DC that month, and before long Wein and Wrightson began work on an ongoing Swamp Thing series for DC. Changes were made – the setting was now contemporary and the scientist in question was named Alec Holland. In the ensuing issues, the duo would introduce horrific characters including the mutated Un-Men, evil Anton Arcane and his niece Abigail, and federal agent Matthew Cable. Thought Wein and Wrightson collaborated on just ten issues of the Swamp Thing series together, their work would leave a huge impact on a audience of horror lovers, some of whom would make their way into the comics industry themselves (see sidebars).

The first Swamp Thing series only lasted 24 issues before it was cancelled due to dwindling sales, but the character returned in 1982 to coincide with the release of a Swamp Thing film from director Wes Craven. The film was a minor hit, and helped revive the character, who became a mainstay of DC Comics going forward, proving ripe for the creative juices of a variety of artists and writers. Among them would be future industry legend Alan Moore, who Len Wein, acting as series editor, handpicked to guide Swamp Thing through the mid-80s. Other notables who have put their mark on the character over the ensuing decades include luminaries like Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Brian K. Vaughn and Scott Snyder.

With 2016 marking the 45 anniversary of the birth of Swamp Thing, we spoke to co-creator Len Wein (Bernie Wrightson has struggled with health issues the last few years) about the inspiration for his legendary character, its horror roots, working with Alan Moore, the recent mini-series he worked on with noted horror artist and Wrightson acolyte Kelley Jones, and much more.

Swamp Thing BErnie

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN WRITING COMICS IN THE FIRST PLACE? Read the rest of this entry

‘It’ is no loser at the box office, breaks records

It’s so nice to be wrong sometimes. This weekend was absolutely massive at the box office, as one new release over-performed in the biggest of ways. Here’s what went down:

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Stephen King’s It broke box office records this weekend, as it debut in first place with an estimated $123 million. Along with critical raves, It had the best first day showing ever for an R-rated film ($51 million), and the best ever Thursday night preview for an R-rated film ($13.5 million). It is the second-biggest R-rated opening ever, only trailing behind Deadpool’s $132.4 million record, set in 2016. It is the biggest horror story of the year, and bodes more than well for the 2019 release of It: Chapter Two of the saga.

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The week in horror: ‘Day of the Dead’, ‘The Houses October Built’ + more

Another Day of the Dead remake is coming your way, Gerald’s Game gets a trailer, and more, as I look at some of the biggest stories from the week in horror.

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Day of the Dead remake set for 2017

Another remake of Day of the Dead is coming to horror fans (the Mena Suvari-starring one is best left forgotten). According to Bloody-Disgusting, Day of the Dead: Bloodline will be released later this year by Saban Films, which has acquired the rights to the Millenium Films release. In Day of the Dead: Bloodline, ” a former medical student is tormented by a dark figure from her past, who happens to be a half-human, half-zombie hell-bent on destroying her.” Read the rest of this entry

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