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Bad weather kneecapping new releases: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Our Idiot Brother and all holdovers.

By Scott Mendelson

HollywoodNews.com: It’s a tough thing to accurately gauge how well a movie would have done if not for an unforeseen variable, such as in this case a massive hurricane that threatened much of the East Coast of the country and shut down hundreds of movie theaters over the weekend. As such, it feels a little unfair to pick on movies that didn’t open all-that well, since who is to say how they would have performed under normal conditions. So, for the sake of not kicking people while they are down, this summary will be focused on the positive developments over the weekend.

While it was not number one this weekend, Sony’s EuroCorp pick-up Colombiana opened with $10.3 million for a solid second place. The Luc Besson-produced vehicle (which I’ll hopefully be seeing tonight) would likely have opened between $12-15 million without the storm issues. But even that smaller number is worth noting. Point being, the film confirms the genuine bank-ability of Zoe Saldana, who co-starred in Avatar and Star Trek in 2009 and had supporting roles in The Losers, Takers, and Death at a Funeral in 2010. Saldana’s face was pretty much the entire poster, and the marketing campaign centered entirely around her. This is the second-biggest opening weekend after Angelina Jolie’s Salt that I can recall for a female-led pure action picture (as opposed to sci-fi/horror) that isn’t based on a comic book or a video game. Even with the diminished numbers, this is still a larger opening weekend than the far-more high profile Conan the Barbarian, Fright Night, and One Day from last weekend. Point being, there is indeed a market for action pictures starring minorities and/or women. Maybe the market isn’t big enough to support $100 million+ productions, but as long as the budget is reasonable (in this case, $40 million), we damn-sure should be seeing more of this kind of thing. The film earned an A- from Cinemascore and played 65% over-25 and 57% female.

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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 29, 2011 | Permalink |

    The big movies are heavily marketed anyway. You have to be a magician to compete for attention in the crowded media world or just have lower costs than the rest.

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