Weekly Nerd News December 16

nerdnews Separator

By Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)


Have you fallen behind on your nerd news? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here are a few stories to bring up at the water cooler this week:

China has landed an unmanned spacecraft on the moon for the first time since 1976. The probe, called Chang’e 3, will dig and conduct geological surveys. Between this and a manned mission in June, China is trying to fulfill their mission of building a working space station by 2020 and to solidify their place as a global power.

Firefly lives! The beloved Joss Whedon show still has a following ten years after its release and its fanbase should continue to grow with this news: Firefly Online will soon be launching for Mac and PC. It’s an online roleplaying game being developed by Quantum Mechanix and Spark Plug Games in which players will take on the role of captain by recruiting a crew, going on missions, and trading with other players. The game comes out in summer 2014.

In an effort to compete with the successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sony Pictures has announced they will develop several new projects in the Spider-Man franchise. The studio has tapped writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, Ed Solomon, and Drew Goddard to work on the project with producers Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, and Marc Webb. The first two films in the expanded universe will delve into the stories of Venom and The Sinister Six, respectively.

 

The wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is being expanded and the first details about it have just been released. The new part of the park will be Diagon Alley, which will house the Leaky Cauldron restaurant. Patrons will also finally be able to ride the Hogwarts Express, which will transport them from “London” to “Hogsmeade” (AKA: between the parks). There are more announcements yet to come about the expansion and the project should be completed sometime next year.

Unsurprisingly, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ruled the box office over the weekend. The film made $73.6 million; however, it did not beat the first film’s opening weekend haul of $84.6 million. That being said, those numbers are not cause for disappointment. In fact, Smaug became the fourth-best December opening ever. In second place was Frozen with $22.2 million, bringing its box office total to $164.4 million.

 


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