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Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will ‘No Good Deed’s’ Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?)

Weekend B.O. Sept. 12-14 (Will 'No Good Deed's' Success Help Make Taraji P. Henson an A-lister?)

So the film
has been in the can for two years, it wasn’t screened to most of the media, or to the public, before its release, and it’s gotten bad reviews. But guess
what? None of that mattered.

The plain
fact is that, the Idris Elba/ Taraji P. Henson thriller “No Good Deed” was the No.
1 movie at the box office his weekend, knocking out “Guardians of the Galaxy” finally, which came in third, with $24.5 million.

Another hit
for producer Will Packer, the film made some $24.5 million this weekend, beating out the no. 2 film, the family
drama “Dolphin Tale 2”, which was thought set to give “Deed” a run for its money, but
instead wound up a distant second, with $16.5 million.

However, the
impressive $24.5 million opening for “Deed” makes one wonder how the success of
the film will affect Henson’s career? Will it finally propel her to the vaulted
A-list status of actresses, or will it have no effect whatsoever?

I bring this
up, considering a quote from her, in an interview she gave last week, that got
some attention. In it, she voiced her frustrations regarding her acting career
so far, and the lack of opportunities and respect that she says she still deals
with.

According to
Ms. Henson, despite her credits: 
“I’m treated like I’m on the D-list. I’m still being considered
with actresses who haven’t done half the stuff I’ve achieved.”

Now you can
argue that she’s being arrogant; or, on the other hand, you could say that she is
openly expressing the common frustrations that most black actresses working in
Hollywood have.

And you
could also say that she has reason to be upset, when you consider that her
co-star, Idris Elba, has some 8 film projects either in post-production, he’s filming now, or has lined up to shoot in just the next year.

All Henson
has next so far, is her role has Terrence Howard’s scheming ex-wife in the Lee
Daniels’ Fox TV series, “Empire,” and, as yet, it’s not clear if she will be on the show for the entire season – assuming that the show makes it through its entire first season.

But for the
sake of argument, is Henson’s frustration with her status due to the general
lack of respect for black actresses in Hollywood, or something else, such as the
roles she played?

Is she a victim of type-casting, given the past roles she’s played, like in John
Singleton’s film “Baby Boy,” giving Tyrese’s character endless grief?

How about we play a “Let’s suppose” game? Let’s suppose Henson, instead of playing the female lead in “Deed,” which is essentially a black “B” movie, had the female lead role that Rosario Dawson has in Chris Rock’s upcoming “Top Five”? A film that got a wildly enthusiastic reception just two weeks ago, at the Toronto International Film Festival, sparking a frenzied bidding war which Paramount won, making it the highest acquisition bid ever in TIFF history. You might argue that, being in a critically acclaimed, high profile film, wildly wel received at the biggest film festival in the world, would bring her more to the forefront than a film like “Deed.”

Or how about her role in “Empire,” in which she plays an ex-convict who’s been released from prison after serving 17 years for drug selling? What if she instead had the lead role in Shonda Rhimes’ highly anticipated new ABC series “How to Get Away with Murder,” playing a law college professor, instead of Viola Davis?

There’s also her her role in “Hustle & Flow.”

Now true, one could argue that these maybe she’s not just being considered for those other roles, like the romantic lead in a Chris Rock film, or the lead in a Shonda Rhimes series, and that with so little work available for black actresses, it’s very competitive.

You could also say that these are just a few roles out of the dozens that she has played, but these are probably the few roles many remember (or will remember) her for, and she’s doomed to be typecast, as a
result, no matter what else she might be capable of.

Of course, she was a regular on the
CBS series “Person of Interest,” but was seriously underused on the show and then
got killed off. And you’ll recall the TV Guide incident from when that series first launched, when she wasn’t included on a cover of the magazine, while her 2 white male co-stars were.

Then again
some of you would look at her very extensive list of over 50 film and TV credits so far, and
say to yourself that, you really don’t know what she’s complaining about, since she’s done pretty
well for herself so far.

Or maybe she
just needs to get rid of the “P.” in her name, as if there’s another
actress out there with the name Taraji Henson.

Or maybe if she stopped doing
films with Terrance Howard or Kevin Hart she would be doing a lot better (hey you know me by now. I just had to throw
that out there).

Or maybe…

So what do
you say? Why isn’t Taraji P. Henson more respected in Hollywood? Is it because she is a black actress (and it’s simply a case of black actresses in Hollywood not being as respected for their talents), or is it the
roles she’s played, or is it both, or something else altogether?

As
you’re pondering that… “Guardians” still held strong in third place, and is now the
only film to have reached the $300 million mark domestically this year, making it the biggest grossing film
in the U.S.

But still, the
biggest surprise of the late summer season is the comedy, “Let’s Be Cops,” which looks well on its way to grossing $80 million, or perhaps more, which is
excellent for the relatively low budget film.

You would
have thought that a comedy about two would-be cops wouldn’t be popular, considering
some tragic and controversial recent events involving the police across the
country; but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Does anyone have any ideas why
that is?

1) No Good Deed SGem $24,500,000 
2) Dolphin Tale 2 WB $16,550,000 
3) Guardians of the Galaxy BV $8,041,000 Total: $305,926,000 
4) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Par. $4,800,000 Total: $181,041,000 
5) Let’s Be Cops Fox $4,300,000 Total: $72,972,000 
6) The Drop FoxS $4,200,000 
7) If I Stay WB $4,050,000 Total: $44,937,000 
8) The November Man Rela. $2,750,000 Total: $22,495,000 
9) The Giver Wein. $2,626,000 Total: $41,329,000 
10) The Hundred-Foot Journey BV $2,461,000 Total: $49,409,000 
11) When the Game Stands Tall TriS $2,375,000 Total: $26,550,000 
12) As Above/So Below Uni. $2,100,000 Total: $19,106,000  

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