September 17, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

The Perks of Being a Wallflower explodes at the Box Office It wasn’t so much a ‘something for everyone’ weekend as it was ‘multiple things for the same general audience’ as four wide releases aimed at thrill-hungry moviegoers and/or adults debuted on the same day, creating a clear case of mutually assured destruction. The top three movies are basically tied, but as always rank is irrelevant next to the actual hard numbers (why rank doesn’t matter).

For the moment, the top debut of the weekend may be End of Watch, a ‘found footage’-style LA cop drama, parlayed strong reviews into a solid $13 million opening, which is the second-biggest debut for Open Roads outside of The Grey ($20 million) back in January. The $7 million film (purchased for $2 million) had a marketing and distribution cost of around $20 million, so even a $40 million final total will get this film in the black before home video. It also proves that Jake Gyllenhaal is a decent mid-range opener. He’s useful when the film you’re selling doesn’t cost $200 million ala Prince of Persia. End of Watch is yet another installment in writer David Ayers’s ‘two volatile men in a car’ sub-genre, which includes the likes of The Fast and the Furious, Training Day and Harsh Times (an underrated Christian Bale vehicle which he also directed). He wrote but did not direct the the LA Riots-set cop melodrama Dark Blue while directing but not writing the frankly mediocre Keanu Reeves cop melodrama Street Kings. Among films he directed, End of Watch should easily top the $26 million gross of Street Kings while it will be fifth (out of seven) if it can merely surpass the $9 million gross of Kurt Russell’s Dark Blue. Fourth place is the $76 million-grossing Training Day, which is too far a bridge to cross at this point.

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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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