October 21, 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        

The Help Needs No Help at the Box Office

HollywoodNews.com: As expected, the summer reached its climax this weekend with an ugly pileup, as four new releases failed to achieve anything resembling success, with three of those releases being in 3D and two of them chasing the exact same demographics. Why oh why did Lionsgate and Disney open Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night on the same weekend?. With the new releases eating each other alive, The Help snuck into the number one slot during its second weekend. Dropping just 21% compared to the Fri-Sun portion of its opening weekend, The Help earned $20.4 million and now sits with a twelve-day total of $71.8 million. This is the very definition of an old-fashioned leggy hit, but in today’s front-loaded marketplace, it almost qualifies as a sensation. $100 million is guaranteed at this point, the question now merely remains how far over/under $150 million it ends up and/or how much the film will factor in the year-end awards races. Viola Davis is a lock for an Oscar nomination (but will her lead performance get placed in the leading or supporting category) and the film is in a pretty good place for a Best Picture nomination. It would be a lock under the old 10-nominees system, and said two-year experiment was dismantled partially out of the desire to keep such ‘popular entertainments’ (IE – well-reviewed films that mainstream audiences actually enjoyed… horrors!) out of the field.

Coming in at second place was not any of the new releases, but Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The (again) well-reviewed and well-liked franchise reboot pulled in another $16.3 million in its third weekend. It sits with $133 million after seventeen days. Again, back in the old days, this would have been just a regular old-fashioned hit film. But in today’s insanely front-loaded marketplace, the film qualifies as a leggy winner. It’s respective seventeen-day total puts it just under Thor ($145 million) and Captain America ($143 million), both of which were in 3D and both of which cost about 50% more than the Fox franchise reboot. Its $134 million total after three weekends exceeds X-Men: First Class ($120 million), I, Robot ($115 million), and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra ($120 million). And it’s quickly catching up to Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, which had earned $148 million by this point in time. So yes, we’ll probably be seeing another one of these in 2-3 years (Passion of the Planet of the Apes, perhaps?).

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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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One Comment

  • August 21, 2011 | Permalink |

    I hope they include the following characters in future Conan sequels:

    Akiro, Bêlit, Fafnir, Red Sonja, Subotai, Valeria, Zenobia

    I look forward to seeing the following villains in future Conan sequels:

    Jenna, Kulan Gath, Mikhal “the Vulture” Oglu, Rexor, Serpent Men, Thorgrim, Thoth-Amon, Thulsa Doom, Vammatar, Xaltotun, Yezdigerd, Zukala

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