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        

Jessica Chastain indeed has the top two movies of the weekend

This weekend provides a fascinating lesson at the would-be star system and the extent to which it exists in Hollywood today. Jessica Chastain indeed as the top two movies of the weekend.

Mama (review), which was sold more on executive producer Guillermo Del Toro than anyone in front of the camera, debuted with a terrific $28 million over the Fri-Sun portion of the weekend, with $33 million expected by the end of the four-day Martin Luther King Day weekend (or twice its $15 million budget).

Zero Dark Thirty (everything I’ve written about that one thus far…) is projected to earn another $21 million by Monday, with $17 million of that coming from its Fri-Sun second weekend, a solid hold of just -28% from last weekend. The film’s ten day total is now $55 million and will be about $59 million tomorrow, or almost identical to what Black Hawk Down had after its first ten days. It opened on *this* weekend eleven years ago, ironically grossing exactly what Mama made over the four-day holiday and dropping 40% in weekend two for a $17 million second weekend. Even compared to the usual slate of early year (January/February) supernatural horror, Mama’s debut is the strongest yet, besting the $24 million debut of Michael Keaton’s White Noise back in January 2005 (that would be about $29 million today).

So does this mean that Jessica Chastain is a new movie star? Not quite.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memo

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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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