Spoilers from this week's The Walking Dead episode will obviously be found below, so here's your chance to lurch away like a zombie.
For those unfamiliar with The Walking Dead, this week's episode, “Look at the Flowers,” would be an out-of-context trip, even for anyone already familiar with zombie movies and television shows. Hell, what's going on now would probably sound bizarre to fans of The Walking Dead who bailed after season seven.
Consider what has gone on the last season and a half: A messed-up cult of nameless wanderers who call themselves The Whisperers wear the skin of zombies over their own faces so that they can blend in and roam with other hordes of zombies, which they use as their own mindless, unkillable armies. A man named Negan — best known for bashing in the heads of two characters with a baseball bat wrapped in barbwire he named after his dead wife — ends up joining The Whisperers to take them down from the inside. This requires that he have sex with a bald woman who goes by the name of Alpha while she is wearing a skin mask, which is a turn-on for Negan because she reminds him of his late wife, who died of cancer.AMC
Negan cuts off the head of the bald woman, though he gets tearful about it because again the mass murderer in the skin masks reminds him of his late wife. Negan, by the way, used to be a high-school gym teacher. Negan subsequently takes Alpha's head and plants it on a pike, where it is discovered by Beta, a former world-famous country singer turned Whisperer. WHAT? He removes Alpha's zombified head from the spike, throws it in a bag, and then distills meaning and direction from the hisses of the decapitated zombie head.
Alpha's hissing leads Beta to an old dive-bar, where he listens to an old record of his, and psyches himself up to lead another horde of zombies into battle, but not before he removes the skin from Alpha's face and plants it over half of his own face. The other half of his face is covered by the older, leathered skin of his dead friend from rehab. Now he looks like Zombie Phantom of the Opera.AMC
If disturbing content is what viewers are looking for, there's plenty of is in this season of The Walking Dead, and with Beta and The Whisperers marching toward Alexandria like they're in a “Thriller” video, I expect there will be more, if not in next week's episode, then in the season finale whenever that airs.
At this point, nearly all 2020 wide-release films — as well as key specialized titles — are either available for home viewing, or soon will be. And the initial impact is dramatic. Based on the rental charts at iTunes and Amazon Prime, which are updated daily, premium rentals largely priced at $19.99 for 48 hours are flying high.
Both charts show strong performances for Vin Diesel’s sci-fi cyborg revenge actioner “Bloodshot” Sony and for Pixar’s “Onward” Disney; at iTunes, initial results also are strong for “Birds of Prey” Warner Bros..
All of this must come with a caveat: Unlike theater box-office revenue, which is verifiable and comes from independent sources, these charts are created without oversight. However, assuming that they accurately reflect consumer choices, they give a sense of what the shelter-in-place public is willing to pay for.
Here are what both services show today March 26, the price, and the ranking the day prior.iTunes feature films only 1. 1917 Universal $5.99 4 2. Onward Disney $19.99 1 3. Birds of Prey Warner Bros. $19.99 2 4. Bloodshot Sony $19.99 3 5. The Gentlemen STX $14.99 – 6. Jumanji: The Next Level Sony $5.99 5 7. The Fittest Gravitas Ventures $4.99 8 8. Dolittle Universal $19.99 10 9. Contagion Warner Bros. $3.99 7 10. The Way Back Warner Bros. $19.99 – Amazon Prime feature films only 1. Bloodshot Sony $19.99 1 2. Jumanji: The Next Level Sony $5.99 2 3. Knives Out Lionsgate $5.99 3 4. The Greatest Showman Fox $3.99 4 5. Bombshell Lionsgate $5.99 5 6. Onward Disney $19.99 8 7. Midway Lionsgate $5.99 6 8. Uncut Gems A24 $5.99 7 9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney $24.99 10 10. Frozen 2 Disney $4.99 –
The charts aren’t absolutes. It’s possible that Amazon’s list lags a day or more behind iTunes. We’ve noticed that the latter seems to show a quicker response to new entries. iTunes users also seem to have more willingness to spend on premium items. The two services may serve different demographics with Amazon possibly more mass market, less niche.
Universal was first, but not best. Universal was the first to announce, and release, their premium titles “The Invisible Man,” “The Hunt,” and Focus’ “Emma”, but they found little to no Top 10 placement. The more recent offerings are doing much better.
The ground is moving, quickly. Figure all studios are ingesting this data already, and making plans accordingly. Exhibitors are grateful that the all-industry benefits in the congressional relief package apply to them. In the meantime,...
Fans of The Walking Dead were dealt a curveball, albeit one that was announced and everyone had proper time to brace for, as Danai Gurira has departed the series as Michonne. But that doesn't mean we've seen the last of her in the walker-filled wasteland. In all likelihood, she will be reuniting with Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes in the upcoming Walking Dead movie.
Warning: spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead season 10 episode 13, titled What We Become. In the show's most recent entry, we followed Michonne on an emotional journey, which included flashbacks and a mission to save someone. Along the way, she found proof that Rick was still alive. With Judith's blessing, Michonne left to go find more evidence of Rick's continued existence.
With that, it feels safe to assume that the two will reunite down the road in The Walking Dead Movie. AMC previously announced that Andrew Lincoln will star in a trilogy of movies centered on Rick Grimes. It now feels beyond likely that Danai Gurira will be along for the ride as well. Scott M. Gimple, who oversees the entire Walking Dead universe, all but confirmed that in a recent interview. Here's what he had to say when asked about it.'Is it fair to assume? It's definitely fair to assume that. There might even be her own story along the way. Some of it has to do with the way we're playing around with the story right now. There's this whole new story strand opened up with her departure.'
The currently untitled Rick Grimes movie is a complete mystery at the moment. What we know for sure is AMC has teamed with Universal and intends to give at least the first installment in the planned trilogy a theatrical release. Gimple, again dancing around a firm confirmation, talked a bit more about their ambitious plans.'With the films, we definitely have plans. But even beyond the current plans, I have some ambitions. I love her and Rick together, but I love seeing her as the pure lead on her own, too. It just so happens that there's a lot of story terrain to cover. But you're right: it's ambitions. Right now, the plans have to do with the feature film.'
As far as the show goes, this leaves very few original cast members standing, with Norman Reedus' Daryl being one of them. We also know Lauren Cohan will be returning as Maggie in season 11. Elsewhere, the new spin-off World Beyond is set to debut this year as well. The Walking Dead movie does not yet have a director attached and a release date has not been set. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.