13 items from 2015
The most profitable movies of the last five years? All horror films! At least that's according to the folks over at MoviePilot, who ranked the top 10 based on the films' Return on Investment (Roi) -- i.e. the ratio of a movie's production budget vs. money earned at the worldwide box office. Admittedly, the word "profitable" is a little misleading; Roi is just one (often problematic) way of measuring profitability. Superhero films and other blockbusters rake in more overall, but their Roi's are inevitably lower thanks to much higher production budgets. So what's number one? You'll never guess! Seriously. You will never, ever guess. Here's the Top 10 list: 10. The Last Exorcism ($70M gross vs. $1.8M production budget) 9. Annabelle ($250M vs. $6.5M) 8. Chernobyl Diaries ($38M vs. $1M) 7. Insidious 2 ($162M vs. $5M) 6. The Purge ($91M vs. $3M) 5. Paranormal Activity 3 ($202M vs. $5M) 4. Unfriended ($48M vs. $1M) 3. Paranormal Activity 2 ($177M vs. »
- Chris Eggertsen
It’s no ordinary case of demonic possession that rouses the attention of the Catholic Church in “The Vatican Tapes” — more like the sort of full-on egg-vomiting, eyeball-gouging spiritual meltdown that suggests the Antichrist herself now walks among us. And director Mark Neveldine, who is no master of dread but a dab hand at dispensing regular shocks, brings an undeniable lunatic conviction to this cheaply derivative religio-horror freakout, while running up the sort of abnormally high body count you’d expect from a “Die Hard” sequel rather than an occult thriller. Silly, screechy and eminently watchable, this thrifty horror exorcise (er, exercise) could yield decent theatrical profit for Pantelion Films, and might turn even more heads in VOD play.
While the original 2009 Black List-selected screenplay (written by Chris Morgan and Michael C. Martin) took the form of a found-footage movie, the filmmakers wisely opted to buck that overdone genre trend. »
- Justin Chang
Michael Peña's played a wide range of roles in his career, always providing viewers with fully believable characters who enhance the stories they inhabit. His latest onscreen roles—Father Lozano in The Vatican Tapes and Luis in Ant-Man—are no exceptions, and Daily Dead recently had the chance to talk with Michael Peña about playing an exorcism-tasked priest, working with Paul Rudd in the new Marvel movie, and more.
The Vatican Tapes is your first foray into the horror genre. What attracted you to this story?
Michael Peña: For me, it always starts with the script. I remember reading the script—whenever you're feeling scared when you're reading something, when there's a big emotional response, that's always a pretty good thing. And that's what happened on this one. It stuck with me even when I went to bed. I'm friends with Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi—the guys who produced this movie. »
- Derek Anderson
Witten will attend Comic-Con, where Heavy Metal’s panel is set to disclose its future plans.
Witten’s producer and executive producer credits include an upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s “Cell,” with Samuel L. Jackson and John Cusack; “Mother’s Day”; “Chernobyl Diaries”; and 2009’s “Friday the 13th.” Witten was president of Fangoria Film after working as a production exec at Paramount, where he oversaw “Vanilla Sky” and “Mission Impossible 3,” and at New Line, where he presided over “The Wedding Singer,” “Spawn,” “Dark City” and “Final Destination.”
Witten broke into the business in the early 1990s when he partnered with Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld on film and TV projects.
Heavy Metal magazine, which began publishing in 1977 in the U.S., specializes in dark fantasy/science-fiction and erotica. »
- Dave McNary
Gramercy Pictures has released a special Sinister 2 video message for all of the dads in the world. Also in this round-up: new stills from The Vatican Tapes, a second clip from The Gallows, and release details on the Psycho Beach Party Blu-ray.
"The sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit horror movie. In the aftermath of the shocking events in “Sinister,” a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of “Wayward Pines”) and her 9-year-old twin sons (real-life twins Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves in a rural house marked for death as the evil spirit of Buhguul continues to spread with frightening intensity."
- Tamika Jones
Having made his mark as one part of the Neveldine/Taylor filmmaking duo (co-directors of Crank, Gamer and Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance), Mark Neveldine’s first solo effort, the Michael Peña-led good vs. evil film The Vatican Tapes, is set to possess horror audiences when it hits theaters this July 24th, via Pantelion Films. The official one sheet and trailer for the demonic horror film has made its way online, and judging from the trailer, it looks like Neveldine is applying the same breakneck speed, frantic pacing that he and Taylor have become quite well known for executing in their films. I’m curious to see how he does as a solo director, and this could very well be quite the entertaining possession flick.
- Jerry Smith
Oren Peli made a major mark on horror when his inspired found footage flick Paranormal Activity captured the hearts of genre fans worldwide in 2007. Over the last eight years the man has produced a number of chilling features including Chernobyl Diaries The Lords of Salem The Bay and Insidious Chapter 2 (not to mention all of the Paranormal Activity sequels) but hell make his long awaited return to the directors chair this year with another promising handycam feature Area 51. »
USA Network is doubling down on WWE, bringing “SmackDown” over from Syfy next year as part of an effort to hike the volume of live programming on NBCUniversal’s flagship entertainment cabler.
The move of “SmackDown,” a slew of development projects, new programs featuring the Chrisley clan and summer scheduling announcements were unveiled Tuesday morning at USA Network’s press upfront gathering held at 30 Rock’s Rainbow Room.
USA Network president Chris McCumber made it clear in his presentation that the cabler is shifting the focus of its original programming to court a millennial audience. He noted that the generational shift of millennials now making up the largest component of the 18-49 audience is well under way. USA’s new shows are built around stories and characters that exhibit “bravery, optimism, self-reliance and hope” — all themes that resonate with millennials, per McCumber.
Alex Sepiol, USA’s senior VP of scripted programming, »
- Cynthia Littleton
The man who created Supernatural has turned his attention to a superhero.
Kripke will pen both the Vertigo comic book on which Amped is based and the series itself, which he’ll also executive-produce.
Related Cable Renewal Scorecard: What’s Coming Back? What’s Getting Cancelled? What’s on the Bubble?
Other potential series the cable channel announced Tuesday include:
* The Tap, a 1969-set spy thriller set at Yale University, »
We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's feature includes casting news for Pilgrimage, details on the 15th Annual Shriekfest Call for Entries, release details for 3 Easy Steps to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse, new posters from The Events Surrounding a Peeping Tom & the Horror That Followed, and much more:
Exclusive Stills from The Dark Below: An update to our coverage from earlier this week, we now have new exclusive stills from The Dark Below. You can the view new stills and release details below, along with the recently released stills:
"Dead Wait Productions announce the completion of principle photography for their new genre film the Dark Below. Award winning genre director Douglas Schulze (Mimesis, Dark Fields) and Executive Producer Seth Willenson bring us a survival thriller that explores the fear of entrapment beneath a frozen lake.
The film »
- Tamika Jones
The scariest part of the first V/H/S film was easily the performance of Hannah Fierman, the infamous “I Like You” girl in the “Amateur Night” segment. Ever sense viewing that segment, I have been absolutely interested in what Fierman has been up to, project wise, and news has come our way that she has officially joined the cast of Events Surrounding A Pepper Tom & The Horror That Follows, a psychological thriller being crowdfunded via Kickstarter as you read this.
The buzz on the film has been growing at quite the rapid pace, with Spring Breakers and the upcoming Holidays horror anthology producer Brian James Fitzpatrick handling the productions ditues and and all practical FX extravagaza being planned by the Emmy nominated Jeremy Selenfriend (Boardwalk Empire, Chernobyl Diaries, The Blacklist, Netflix’s Daredevil) and his FX house, Monster in My Closet to get this thing done right!
The Events »
- Jerry Smith
Clarius Entertainment has acquired Us rights to Benaroya Pictures and The Genre Company’s thriller Cell starring John Cusack (upcoming Love & Mercy, Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Oscar-nominated Samuel L. Jackson (upcoming Kingsman: The Secret Service, Django Unchained).
The film is based on the best-selling apocalyptic novel by Stephen King.
When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users’ minds are instantly and dangerously re-programmed. Heading north through New England in search of his wife and son, Clay Riddell (Cusack) is joined by a group of survivors hoping to fend off the bloodthirsty and hyper-connected “phoners.”
- Michelle McCue
Get ready stateside filmgoers, because the “phoners” (aka “crazies”) are coming to the Us. Stephen King fans know that the master of macabre doesn’t like using cell phones. His 2006 novel, Cell, is a cautionary tale about what can go wrong by pressing portable phones to our ears and keeping them close at hand in our pockets, and its unflinching subject matter contains flocks of murderous lunatics that would be right at home in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, George A. Romero’s The Crazies, or Simon Clark’s Blood Crazy.
We knew this unique King novel was getting the adaptation treatment, with King co-writing the screenplay and John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in the lead roles, but we’re now one big step closer to seeing it on the silver screen, as Clarius Entertainment has acquired the Us rights to the movie.
Slated to hit theaters this year, »
- Derek Anderson
13 items from 2015
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