Tag: “The Help”

‘Hidden Figures’ Tops ‘Rogue One,’ With $22.8M #1 Debut at Box Office

(PHOTO COURTESY OF FOX 2000)

article by Scott Mendelson via forbes.com

With the always present caveat that “rank doesn’t matter,” it turns out that Hidden Figures was the top movie of the weekend, not Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. As you probably know, the weekend box office that everyone reports on Sunday is comprised of estimates and when the rankings are close the order can sometimes shift when the final numbers drop. So yeah, Hidden Figures earned a terrific $22.8 million, about $1m more than estimated, which is a sign that the film is building on its buzz and word-of-mouth.

Meanwhile, Rogue One had to settle for a $22m fourth weekend, bringing its domestic total to $477.3m. The story though, isn’t necessarily that Hidden Figures, which stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Mahershala Ali, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Kevin Costner, bested the fourth weekend of Star Wars (or the third weekend of Sing) in its wide release debut. No, it’s that Hidden Figures, a historical drama about female African-American NASA mathematicians whose skills were essential to putting Americans into space, earned $22.8 million on its opening weekend, bringing the domestic total for the $25m Fox 2000/Chermin release to $24.7m.

At the risk of stating the painfully obvious, the triumph of said Allison Schroeder/Ted Melfi-written studio programmer, based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book, is a huge win for the notion that movies about women, women of color no less, can be not just critically acclaimed and award-worthy but also multiplex-friendly box office hits. This shouldn’t be a surprise. We should know this by now. The Help earned $169 million domestic in 2011, more than X-Men: First Class ($146m), and earned about as much worldwide ($216m) as the 3D/$200m+ Green Lantern ($219m).

Back in 1995, Waiting to Exhale made about as much domestically ($67.4m) as Bad Boys, Outbreak and Heat. The entire Tyler Perry media empire is built on audiences (black women and otherwise) going to movie theaters to see mainstream melodramas about African-American women. Hell, we forget about it now, but Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple earned $94.1 million domestic in 1985 ($216m in 2017 dollars). That doesn’t mean every Baggage Claim is going to break out, but if you treat movies like Hidden Figures like an event, the audience will show up.

To read more, go to: Box Office: ‘Hidden Figures’ Topped ‘Rogue One,’ But Its Real Victory Was That $22.8M Debut

NBC To Reboot Detective Series “Murder, She Wrote” With Octavia Spencer Starring

Octavia Spencer

According to Deadline.com, NBC is looking to remake one of the most successful female-led series in TV history – Murder, She Wrote – which ran on CBS from 1984 to 1996 and stared Angela Landsbury as amateur detective Jessica Fletcher.  The new version will star Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer, and is being reimagined as “a light, contemporary procedural in the vein of Bones or Fargo, which follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel.  Set in a day where sensational headlines inundate the news, this woman’s avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations.”  Former Desperate Housewives executive producer Alexandra Cunningham is writing and will executive produce with David Janollari.

Murder would mark the first series regular role for Spencer, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Help. She previously worked with NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt and Janollari on the 2001 Sci Fi Channel series The Chronicle, which the two executive produced and she recurred on.  Spencer’s involvement in Murder, She Wrote stems from an exploratory meeting she took with Greenblatt. “I’ve always considered myself an armchair detective and in a recent meeting with Bob Greenblatt, he asked me what type of character would be able to lure me to TV. Naturally, I said ” J.B. Fletcher” meets “Colombo”… And here we are,” she said.

“I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to work with Dave Janollari again, and Alex Cunningham a brilliant writer who shares my love for all things mysterious and Angela Lansbury.” Cunningham also spoke of her and Spencer’s shared passions. “Octavia and I are both huge true crime buffs, amateur criminologists, and fans of Angela Lansbury,” she said. “To get the chance to reimagine Murder, She Wrote for a dynamic and multi-faceted actress like Octavia is a thrill and a pleasure.”

Spencer recently wrapped production on Black And White opposite Kevin Costner and is about to begin filming the James Brown biopic Get on Up while also promoting her debut novel, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit. 

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” No. 1 for 2nd Weekend in a Row with $17 Million in Box Office

the-butler-3

According to variety.com, three new wide releases, led by Sony-Screen Gems’ Y/A adaptation The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, with an estimated $14.1 million in five days,  were no match for Lee Daniels’ The Butler, which only fell 31% in its second weekend, for a projected $17 million through Sunday. The Weinstein Co.-distributed movie has earned north of $52 million so far.

The holdover success of Lee Daniels’ The Butler can be largely attributed to its broadening audience: Last weekend, the film earned 76% of its gross from audiences over 35, while in its second weekend, that share shrunk to 63%. Moreover, African-Americans contributed a weighty 39% of the film’s opening; just 33% of its total this weekend came from black viewers.  The film’s playability mirrors the stronghold that The Help had on the box office this time two years ago.

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