October 24, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

Weekend Box Office: Captain America

HollywoodNews.com: Captain America: The First Avenger (review) debuted at number one this weekend, earning a rock-solid $65.8 million. The opening puts it just over Thor ($65.7 million) for the top superhero debut of the year. The film scored an A- from Cinemascore and had an okay 2.55x weekend multiplier. It played 64% male and 57% over-25 (I don’t have 3D stats yet). I had hopes for a higher opening weekend after the $4 million midnight debut (bigger than any non-sequel this year), but in the end it played like every other super hero film this year.

On a personal note, I’m a little disappointed that the film didn’t play better to women, as Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter ranks as one of the best female lead/love interest characters in comic book movie history (IE – she’s an authoritative ass-kicker whose general bad ass-ness is taken completely for granted and whose eventual romance with Steve Rogers actually has emotional weight). Still the large over-25 percentage implies that the film is playing well to older audiences who were drawn in more by the period and the older actors (Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, etc) than the comic book genre or character popularity. Still those older audiences are being heavily targeted by Universal’s campaign for Cowboys and Aliens (also based on a comic book, albeit a relatively cult one), which hopes to lasso non-geeks with the James Bond (Daniel Craig) teams with Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) gimmick. Barring unexpected collapse, it should go toe-to-toe with Thor, which just crossed $180 million this weekend.

Overseas numbers are a bigger question (the movie doesn’t expand much internationally for a couple weeks), as Paramount is emphasizing the international nature of Captain America’s ‘Howling Commandos’ as well as the fact that the primary threat isn’t nation-specific (IE – Red Skull is too crazy even for the Nazis!). But for now, this is a dynamite debut for one of the summer’s biggest question marks, fitting for a movie that turned out to be far better than most were expecting (and if you’re that idiot who wants to assign the movie to a specific ideology, READ THIS first).

Photo by Paramount Pictures

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About Scott Mendelson

Mendelson's Memos: The basics - 30 years old, married with one child, currently residing in Woodland Hills, CA. I am simply a longtime film critic and pundit of sorts, especially in the realm of box office. The main content will be film reviews, trailer reviews, essays, and box office analysis and comparison. I also syndicate myself at The Huffington Post and Open Salon. I will update as often as my schedule allows. Yes, I'm on Facebook/Twitter/LinkIn, so feel free to find me there. All comments are appreciated, just be civil and try to keep a level discourse, as I will make every effort to do the same. Read more at Mendelson's Memos:

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