"Can You Ever Forgive Me?" deliciously pairs Richard E. Grant with Melissa McCarthy                "22 July" sees Paul Greengrass effectively depict another tragic historical event                Timothée Chalamet and Rachel Weisz to be Honored at Hollywood Film Awards                Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet are gunning for awards with "Beautiful Boy"                "Bad Times At The El Royale" is overstuffed yet pulpy fun from Drew Goddard                87 films will contend for Best Foreign Language Feature this year                "First Man" is another stunning achievement for Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling                Updated Academy Award predictions for early October                Bradley Cooper makes a stunning directorial debut with the Oscar frontrunner "A Star Is Born"                Trailer for 'Vice' reveals Adam McKay's biopic of Dick Cheney                Taking a look at potential Best Original Screenplay contenders                Nicole Kidman to Receive Hollywood Film Award                “First Man” and “A Star Is Born”: Films to see in October                Taking a look at potential Best Adapted Screenplay contenders                Could we be seeing a rematch of Damien Chazelle vs Barry Jenkins this year?        

Underestimating the box office potential of films featuring actors of color – ‘The Call’ Halle Berry

There is an amusing phenomenon, going back at least as long as I can remember, to underestimate the box office potential of films featuring actors of color. We don’t see it coming, we’re shocked when it happens, and then studios don’t actually factor this new information into their production slate.

Anyway, The Call was the top new release of the weekend, earning $17.2 million. Yes the film played strongly among African Americans, at least partially because the movie bothered to feature a few (Halle Berry and Morris Chestnut among many others) in more than just token roles. Tracking this debut compared to Berry’s previous efforts is tough because she has had co-starring roles in stuff like Die Another Day ($47 million debut), The Flintstones ($29 million), and the X-Men trilogy ($54m, $85m, and $102m).

In terms of starring vehicles, this is bigger than the likes of Catwoman ($16 million), and A Perfect Stranger ($11 million), but below Gothica ($19 million). The marketing smartly highlighted that it was a film about one woman rescuing another woman from peril, with no clear male lead. It played 61% female and 53% over-30. The picture cost just WWE just $13 million before selling the rights to Sony and earned a B+ from Cinemascore, so it may just have legs. Even if its appeal is about “black audiences have nothing for them right now”, Warner Bros’ Jackie Robinson biopic 42 doesn’t open until April 12th.

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos

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