"The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear"
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Did ‘Arrival’ Have a Late Arrival? Our Obsession with UFOs May Be Fading

12 November 2016 9:45 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Arrival,” the shimmering and portentous new why-are-they-here? alien-invasion drama, is on track to bring in around $24 million this weekend. That isn’t shabby, but it’s not spectacular, either. It’s not the kind of box-office performance that one would have expected, a while back, from an acclaimed, star-driven, visually astonishing sci-fi movie about visitors from another world. It’s no surprise, really, that “Arrival” is lagging far behind the second weekend of “Doctor Strange” and “Trolls.” Next to those movies, it’s practically an art film. (The critics seem rapturous about it, and I was too — for about the first three-fifths — though I have to wonder if audiences are going to like the metaphysical head-scratcher of an ending any more than I did.)

Back in the day, an alien-visitation thriller was as close to a sure thing as Hollywood had going. In 2002, M. Night Shyamalan’s “Signs” was little »

- Owen Gleiberman

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