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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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