Last night an industry-connected HE correspondent wrote to say he’d “just returned from a PGA screening of The Help at the WGA theatre,” and that his wife “was in tears” and that the overall response was quite emotional. “The crowd name-checked the credits, clapping five different times,” he wrote. “Crazy applause. An entertainment attorney was sitting next to me, a guy in his mid ’50s, and he wasn’t just saying at the end ‘yeah, pretty good, whatever’ but ‘man…amazing!’

Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan and other producers did a q & a. They seemed very confident and self-satisfied, but in a good way. The crowd really loved the movie.

“The decision to do a food product tie-in seems certain to backfire and is already stirring the racial controversy pot. But the audience that has reward the book is going to go see this in droves. It feels like this movie is going to get talked about and make a lot of money, and land some awards.”

The expectation is that The Help will end up with something like $32 million by Sunday night, and may go on to earn as much as $100 million…who knows?