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WIRE Buzz: Shudder's Cursed Films renewed for S2; half of world's theaters back open; more

By Jacob Oller
An empty movie theater awaits guests

Cursed Films, the docuseries from Shudder exploring genre films associated with real-life tragedy, has been renewed for a second season.

According to a release, writer/director/editor Jay Cheel is coming back for another round of episodes focused on movies like The Crow and Twilight Zone: The Movie, which had on-set horrors that tarnished and warped the legacies of the films themselves. The second season is currently in production and looks to premiere in 2021.

“Filming Season 1 of Cursed Films was an amazing experience, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to interview a new group of talented filmmakers and film critics while exploring the stories behind five more legendarily ill-fated film productions,” Cheel said. “This time around we’ll be heading outside of North America for a few episodes, which will not only widen the scope of the series but offer an exciting collection of stories connected to a diverse group of movies.”

While no specific titles have yet been announced, look for many more talking-head interviews and expert opinions (including those from actual black magic practitioners and exorcists) when the series returns.

Next, while Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and other genre films flirt with returning to theaters on a large scale (and those like Mulan announce VOD plans), new reports indicate that almost half of the world’s movie theaters are already open in some capacity.

Variety reports that the U.K.’s Gower Street Analytics indicates that 48 percent of the global box office was open as of the first weekend in August. The week before that, things were only at 41 percent. A week before that, on July 18, it was at 28 percent operation. Why the massive leap? China’s theaters opened back up for business. Russia and the U.K. also saw theatrical reopenings. In the U.S., available theaters decreased over the same time period.

Additionally, with social distancing rules, necessarily reduced ticket sales to limit theater capacity, and an absence of new films to screen, revenue is still low.

Until the rest of theaters can reopen — and they actually have something new to show — most of the box-office dollars will continue to come from drive-ins showing old classics in a safe, distanced way.

Finally, an animator behind Disney fare like Fantasia 2000, Frozen II, and Tangled has a new fairy-tale-focused film on the way — and a star-studded trailer to tease it.

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, written and directed by Sung-ho Hong with character design and animation direction from Jin Kim, looks to push a Shrek-like plot about a princess hunt and some transformational magic. Featuring the vocal talents of Chloe Grace Moretz, Sam Claflin, Patrick Warburton, Jim Rash, and Gina Gershon, the first trailer showcases its combo of fable features.

Check it out:

Magical red shoes, a body-positive message (as strangely presented as it is), and lots of little green men! Okay, they’re not aliens. But it’s still an interesting and strange twist on its fantasy setting. 

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs hits Digital and On Demand on Sept.18 and Blu-ray and DVD on Sept. 22.