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Venom Sets New Box Office Record, Despite Poor Reviews

The new Venom movie starring Tom Hardy might not have gotten the best critical reception, but that hasn’t kept the film from performing exceptionally well at the box office. The movie pulled in $80 million in the US and Canada for the Friday-Sunday period, according to EW. That sets a new all-time October record, destroying the $55.8 million that the previous record-holder Gravity made in October in 2013.

Venom‘s strong performance exceeds expectations, as industry projections estimated that the film would make somewhere in the $55 million-$70 million range for its opening weekend in the US and Canada. Venom also opened internationally this weekend, and it made a combined $125.2 million from all international markets, pushing its global haul to more than $200 million after three days.

With a reported budget of $100 million, it appears Venom is already a commercial access. The end credits bonus scene in Venom strongly hints at the sequel and its main villain–you can read GameSpot’s end-credits scene breakdown here to learn more. Director Ruben Fleischer told GameSpot that this scene was meant to lay the groundwork for Venom 2.

Movie critics generally did not enjoy Venom–it has a lousy 32% on Rotten Tomatoes and 35 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic–but audience scores were much higher. The movie boasts a B+ CinemaScore rating, which is strong and suggests that second-weekend box office will stay strong with word-of-mouth. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more on Venom‘s box office performance.

Venom‘s success was expected given that the film enjoyed the highest Thursday night preview in history for October. It brought in more than $10 million, which also outpaces both Ant-Man ($6.4 million) and Doctor Strange ($9.4 million).

Venom finished the October 5-7 US/Canada weekend easily in the No. 1 position, beating out the other high-profile newcomer, the Bradley Cooper/Lady Gaga musical A Star Is Born. You can see the full Top 10 list below.

In our Venom review, Michael Rougeau wrote, “Venom has all the ingredients of a decent superhero movie–10 or 15 years ago. With spotty CGI, poorly drawn characters, tonal inconsistency including forced ‘edginess’ and awkward humor, sidelined female characters, and even cringeworthy licensed musical cues, it feels like a relic from the distant, pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe past. That may in part be attributed to the fact that it’s been in production in one form or another since at least 2008. But its problems go way past simply being ‘old school,’ and ultimately, Venom lacks the charm, clarity, and ambition superhero fans have come to expect.”

October 5-7 US/Canada Box Office

  1. Venom — $80 million
  2. A Star Is Born — $23 million
  3. Smallfoot — $14.9 million
  4. Night School — $12.3 million
  5. The House With a Clock in Its Walls — $7.3 million
  6. A Simple Favor — $3.4 million
  7. The Nun — $2.6 million
  8. Hell Fest — $2.075 million
  9. Crazy Rich Asians — $2.06 million
  10. Met Opera: Aida (2018) — $1.2 million

Top New Games Out On Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC This Week — October 7-13

Now that we’re knee-deep in October, this episode of New Releases is getting spooky with a port of Luigi’s Mansion on 3DS. If you find pro wrestling writing scary, then why not send in your own custom wrestler in WWE 2K19? Meanwhile, RPG fans can try out new versions of some cult classics with Disgaea 1 Complete and The World Ends With You: Final Remix. Oh, and this little game called Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is launching too.

WWE 2K19 — October 9

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

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The latest in the long-running wrestling series brings a ton of new features to the squared circle. Two Tower modes let you take on challenges both online and off, using either real-world wrestlers or your own custom creation. Speaking of which, customization has been expanded, and the MyCareer and Road to Glory modes have been reworked too.

Further Reading:

Disgaea 1 Complete — October 9

Available on: PS4, Switch

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The Disgaea series is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and this new version of the original PS2 game is one way to celebrate. The cult classic tactical RPG series is known for its insane level cap of 9999 and the ridiculous damage your party members can do as they rank up. This version packs in HD graphics and a bonus story first featured in the PSP remake more than 10 years ago.

Further Reading:

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — October 12

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

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Call of Duty is also getting more tactical this year. Black Ops 4 features Specialists that bring unique abilities and gear to the battlefield, letting you be more strategic during multiplayer matches. It also drops the campaign, instead offering single-player challenges on the multiplayer maps starring the various Specialists. There’s also a more in-depth Zombies mode, but the icing on the cake this year is Blackout. That’s Call of Duty’s take on the popular battle royale trend, and it features characters, weapons, and landmarks from the run of Call of Duty games on the biggest map in series’ history.

Further Reading:

The World Ends With You: Final Remix — October 12

Available on: Switch

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There’s another cult-classic RPG dropping this week, and it’s all about saving the world and powering up your party with rad fashion choices. Final Remix includes a brand-new story chapter, and two players can enjoy combat together, each with their own Joy-Con.

Further Reading:

Luigi’s Mansion — October 12

Available on: 3DS

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Nintendo fans can grab one more remake this week. The 3DS is a great fit for Luigi’s Mansion, with the touch screen serving as a map as you explore the world. New to this version is a co-op mode featuring a ghostly green secondary Luigi, and the ability to challenge bosses to a rematch as you try to earn a better score.

Further Reading:

Those are the heavy hitters this week, but October still has plenty of games to come. Next week, SoulCalibur 6 will tell the next chapter in the weapon-based fighting series’ saga, and Dark Souls Remastered finally arrives on Nintendo Switch.

Christian Bale Gained 40 Pounds And Grew His Neck To Play Dick Cheney; Watch First Vice Trailer Here

The first full-length trailer for the Dick Cheney movie Vice has landed, providing the first very good look at a transformed Christian Bale as George W. Bush’s controversial vice president.

Bale is almost unrecognisable, thanks to his latest shape-shifting effort. He told Yahoo that he gained 40 pounds, shaved his head, and bleached his eyebrows for the role, while co-star Steve Carrell said to Collider that Bale did exercises to make his neck thicker to look more like Cheney’s.

The result is stunning, as Bale certainly looks the part. He also successfully captures some of Cheney’s trademark mannerisms and his speaking style. Check out the trailer above.

This is just Bale’s latest physical transformation for a role. With a diet consisting of whiskey and cigarettes, he got down to just 120 pounds (54kg) for his role in 2004’s The Machinist before bulking up immediately to play Batman in Batman Begins the next year. Bale lost weight again for 2010’s The Fighter, in which he played accomplished-boxer-turned-crack-addict Dicky Eklund; he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for that role. Bale then put more than 40 pounds back on and grew his hair for the role of con artist Mel Weinberg in American Hustle.

Vice also stars Oscar winner Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, and Steve Carrel as Donald Rumsfeld. It opens on Christmas Day.

Star Wars Resistance: Series Premiere Review

This is a mostly spoiler-free review of the Star Wars Resistance series premiere, titled “The Recruit.”

The galaxy of Star Wars is so vast that trying to find an entry point can be utterly overwhelming. Luckily, Disney’s newest addition to their beloved animated canon, Star Wars Resistance, is a perfect jumping on point for new fans and an engaging expansion of lore for die-hards. Set six months before the beginning of The Force Awakens, the premiere of Star Wars Resistance aims — and succeeds — at replicating the model of its predecessor, Rebels, by introducing fans to a whole new group of characters in the galaxy far, far away.

Vibrant and colorful, Polygon Pictures and Lucasfilm Animation have done a great job of creating a world that looks recognizably like the galaxy we know and love whilst also managing to craft something that feels fresh and new. Which, it would seem, is the whole point of Resistance. Though some fans didn’t love the new cell shaded anime influenced art when the trailer was released, the visual landscape of the finished show has a warmth and life to it that’s quite charming, which particularly pops when the cast members interact with each other.

Continue reading…

Fallout 76 Features Project Greek Island, The US Government’s Secret Bunker

Fallout 76 will feature Project Greek Island, the secret United States government bunker built underneath the Greenbier Resort located in West Virginia among the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is according to Xbox’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb, who was among those who attended a recent preview session of Fallout 76 at the Greenbrier Resort. Hyrb spoke briefly about the inclusion of Project Greek Island in Fallout 76 during the latest episode of his podcast.

He said it will be featured in the game in some capacity, but he did not share any further details. Whatever the case, The inclusion of the Greenbrier Resort and Project Greek Island makes a lot of sense for Fallout 76 given its subject matter.

President Dwight E. Eisenhower commissioned the bunker in 1958 amid growing concerns of a nuclear strike. Located about four hours from Washington D.C., the bunker was meant to house every member of the United States Congress in the event of nuclear fallout. It reportedly contained everything required to keep the lawmakers alive and capable of doing their jobs for an extended period of time.

Project Greek Island was exposed as part of a 1992 Washington Post report, and the government decommissioned it thereafter. It was never used.

Fallout 76 launches on November 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, but you won’t have to wait until then to check it out. A pre-order exclusive beta starts later this month on all platforms (Xbox One users get in first), offering the entire game; and progress carries forward to the full game. Unlike previous games in the series, Fallout 76 is an always-online multiplayer game.

In other Fallout 76 news, Bethesda has confirmed that the game will not support cross-play. That’s notable because Sony just started allowing this for Epic’s Fortnite.

Fortnite Reaches $300 Million On iOS, But Pokemon Go Did It Faster

A new report reveals just how incredibly popular and lucrative Epic’s free-to-play battle royale game Fortnite is on mobile, and specifically Apple’s iOS. A report from SensorTower states the game has now made $300 million from its microtransactions on iOS since it launched 200 days ago on March 15. That’s a incredible achievement, but it’s not the fastest to $300 million on iOS. Niantic’s Pokemon Go holds that record, bringing in $300 million after just 113 days on Apple’s platform, according to SensorTower.

Perhaps a better comparison for Fortnite is the iOS edition of rival PUBG. It started selling extra content on April 15, around 173 days ago, and has made around $47 million since then.

The SensorTower report also compares Fortnite’s first 200 days to other popular games, and Epic’s battle royale game dominates. As you can see in the chart here, Fortnite grossed many millions more than games like Clash Royale, Honor of Kings, and Knives Out over their first 200 days.

Of Fortnite’s $300 million in revenue on iOS, about 65 percent of the spending came from the United States. Worldwide, the game is averaging about $1.5 million revenue per day, according to the report.

The report also shines a light on how important the launch of a new Season within Fortnite is for the game’s commercial success. The iOS version pulled in about $20 million in the past week since Season 6 started September 27, due in part to the launch of the new Battle Pass that includes various extras.

Elsewhere, the SensorTower report states that Fortnite’s Android version has brought in $60 million since it arrived on August 9. Combined with the iOS edition’s $300 million $360 million for iOS and Android.

Fortnite is also available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, so the game’s total microtransaction revenue is surely significantly higher with all platforms accounted for.

The Walking Dead Boss Breaks Down Maggie’s Story After That Season 9 Premiere

While the Season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead might have seemed quieter and less action-packed than many of the show’s recent episodes–thanks to the end of the pesky war with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)–there was still plenty to see. The new episode caught viewers up on what’s been happening since the end of the show’s “All Out War” story and set the stage for a major Maggie (Lauren Cohan) arc, leading up to her departure from the show.

In the final moments of the episode, Maggie lets Rick (Andrew Lincoln) know that she’s ready for him to step aside and let her lead. Following that, she supervises the execution of Gregory (Xander Berkeley), who tried to have her assassinated. The moment shows the woman Maggie has grown into since being introduced in Season 2 of The Walking Dead.

And during a visit to the show’s Atlanta set, new showrunner Angela Kang explained to GameSpot and a small group of other outlets that it would also inform her final story on the show–for now.

“We had always planned to have this great story with Maggie this season, and I think we promised something,” she says. “You know, we wanted to pay off that promise. So we definitely have a very strong Maggie arc. Lauren, I think, has always been such a great actress for us, has done some spectacular work this season. As you’ve seen in the episodes but also in the episodes that are upcoming, there’s some stuff that just blew me away. And I’m just a pure fan.”

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Still, while Maggie may be the focus of what is unfolding at Hilltop, the coming events will also be used to build up those around her to fill the void, once the episodes featuring Cohan have come to an end. “It also opens up some interesting opportunities for other characters when that character is gone for reasons that will be explained in the story,” she explained. “That’s part of the story going forward, what’s happening at Hilltop? And how do people deal with Maggie not being there?”

However, that doesn’t mean the show is preparing to kill off Maggie. Cohan has told us before that her story will be left open-ended, which is different than the send-off for The Walking Dead‘s other outgoing star Lincoln.

Cohan has said she’d like to be able to return to the show at some point, and Kang is confident that could happen. “I’ll say first of all that we still plan to tell more story with Maggie,” she said. “Lauren wants to, it just it will be a little subject to her schedule. But hopefully, we have her back next season.”

While there is no clear picture or when or if Cohan will be able to return to The Walking Dead, her exit date from the series has not been revealed. While she’s shot her final scenes for now, AMC has not announced when she or Lincoln’s final episodes will air.