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WIRE Buzz: The Witcher gets festive in Christmas video; the DK Rap turns 21; 700 theaters close overnight

By Josh Weiss
The Witcher Christmas video

Netflix is celebrating Christmas a little early, and in the most bizarre way possible. This morning, the streamer posted a video of Witcher Season 1 footage that was re-edited to incorporate festive elements of the yuletide season. It would be an understatement to say that these little bits of holiday iconography are hilariously jarring in the gritty, fantasy world of the Continent. But hey, the pun work is extraordinary, as Netflix promises a "bloody and brilliant 'slay' ride" for anyone who wishes to watch the series.

If you think about it, Geralt of Rivia (played in live-action by Man of Steel's Henry Cavill) is sort of like Santa Claus for monsters. He knows if they've been naughty or nice, and if they're the former...well, let's just say a chunk of coal would be the least of their worries.

Take a look below:

The Witcher is currently shooting its second season in the U.K. Production was forced to shut down back in March over health concerns relating to COVID-19. Filming resumed in August, but was once again put on hold a few weeks ago after several confirmed cases of the virus.

Season 2 is expected to premiere on Netflix sometime next year.

The now-famous "DK Rap" — the song that raised the curtain on Donkey Kong 64 all those years ago in 1999 — is now able to legally smoke and drink in the United States. That's right, the hip hop-inspired track (penned by legendary video game composer Grant Kirkhope) turns 21-years-old this week, and fans are celebrating the milestone anniversary, despite Mr. Kirkhope's semi-shameful association with it. He's kind of got a love-hate relationship with the song, which was reviled upon its original release, but is now beloved by fans the world over.

Running for a little over three minutes long, the "DK Rap" perfectly introduces the player to each of the different Kongs featured in the game. Donkey and Diddy were obviously present, but DK64 also introduced three new primates into the mix: Chunky, Tiny, and Lanky. Unfortunately, none of the trio was ever seen again beyond their N64 debut.

"When I wrote the 'DK Rap' I thought everyone would get the joke: a rap about Monkey's with funny instruments in the background!" Kirkhope exclusively tells SYFY WIRE. "Alas, no one did. Everyone thought I was trying to make a credible rap track! It's taken 20 years, but I think that people are finally coming 'round to the idea...ha! For all the music I've written and have yet to write, when it comes to my tombstone it'll say: 'Here's lies the body of Grant Kirkhope, he wrote the 'DK Rap'!!"

Kirkhope is also known for composing the scores to such Nintendo 64 titles as GoldenEye and Banjo-Kazooie.

Movie theaters suffered another massive blow this past weekend as more than 700 theaters shut down across the U.S. and Canada amid a surge in coronavirus cases, The Hollywood Reported confirmed today. Over the weekend, Universal and Blumhouse's Freaky accrued an extra $1.2 million in its sophomore outing at domestic locations, marking a 66 percent drop in sales from its $3.7 million opening the week before.

The weekend haul is estimated between $4 - $5 million, signaling a 50 percent decrease from the previous weekend, as well as the worst box office figure since August when theaters first began to reopen. That said, the problem is much larger than recent theater closures. Key markets of New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have not allowed theaters to resume operations, which means a sharp deficit in ticket sales. All three of those cities account for the bulk of box office revenue in the United States.

Freaky photo

"Given the limited number of open theaters, the holiday movie season will be tasked with bridging the gap between this most challenging period and when the cinematic cavalry arrives in the form of what on paper looks to be a truly spectacular 2021 slate of blockbusters," Comscore's Paul Dergarabedian told THR. "The adage 'it's always darkest before the dawn' certainly applies here. Theaters need new high-profile films to drive audiences to the multiplex, but unfortunately, those are in short supply in the coming weeks."

The only major release hitting theaters prior to the end of 2020 will be Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day and even then, Warner Bros.' DC tentpole is also hitting HBO Max at the same time.

"Movie theaters over the decades have proven to be extraordinarily resilient and have survived every challenge from the pandemic of 1918, through the Great Depression to the introduction of TV through the home theater revolution and now the streaming boom," added Dergarabedian. "COVID-19 has presented a modern-era challenge unlike no other and weathering this storm will be no easy task, but if history tells us anything it's that the movie theater experience is an essential component of the entertainment ecosystem and thus will find a way to survive."

(Universal Pictures and SYFY WIRE are both owned by NBCUniversal)