October 22, 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: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

HollywoodNews.com: It’s a little sad when a drop of just under 50% is considered leggy, but here we are. Rise of the Planet of the Apes dropped ‘just’ 49% in its second weekend, which was strong enough to once again claim the top spot at the box office. The well-received franchise reboot earned $27.5 million in weekend two, for a ten-day total of $104 million.

The number puts it well-ahead of movies that opened with similar numbers in summers past, such as I, Robot ($95 million after ten days), X-Men ($99 million), X-Men: First Class ($98 million), GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra ($98 million), and The Incredible Hulk ($97 million). It is comparatively down from Tim Burton’s still-lousy (just watched it again this weekend) Planet of the Apes, which opened with $69 million back in 2001 and ended its tenth day with $123 million. However, this much-better received and much cheaper variation is falling at a smaller rate, so it has a chance of catching up to the $180 million earned by the Burton re-imagining ten years ago. The film is doing the usual Fox magic overseas as well, as it has $179 million worldwide, which makes this a HUGE win for the $93 million production.

Coming in at second place, but hobbled over the weekend by a Wednesday opening, was The Help. The much-anticipated and much-debated Civil Rights-era drama earned a terrific $24 million over the Friday-Sunday portion of the weekend and $35 million since opening on Wednesday. Three things of note – The film would clearly have won the weekend had Disney opened it on a Friday, and it would have easily won the weekend had Disney decided to convert the Emma Stone/Viola Davis drama into 3D (such a move would have netted the film around $29 million for the weekend and $40 million over five days). The film played 74% female and 60% 35 years and older, which makes the opening all the more impressive (as all know, older audiences don’t generally rush out on opening weekend). The picture had stunning legs over the whole weekend, pulling in a terrific 6.4x multiplier over the long weekend and a stunningly good (for this day and age) Fri-Sun multiplier of 3.35x.

Finally, along with a Cinemascore of A+, the film pulled off the rare feat of earning more on Sunday than it did on Friday. Point being, pundits may carp about the film’s very existence (yes, there are too few minority-driven films that are not told from the minority point of view, but how is the movie itself?), but it’s going to be around for awhile and likely figure into the Oscar season. As always, I’m amazed at how many people outside a given minority group are so quick to gang up on a film that deals with a given minority group and call it ‘racist’ or ‘not healthy’ for said group (I think they can make up their own minds, thank you). If you’re one of those who protested that an esteemed actress of color like Viola Davis had to play a maid, well then I’m sure you’re always first in line for the newest Tyler Perry movie and/or fare like Jumping the Broom… right? And I’m sure you were first in line to see her supporting turns as a thoughtful therapist in It’s a Funny Kind of Story and/or Trust, right? Right?

Photo by Twentieth Century Fox

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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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