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Weekend Box Office Report: Jessica Chastain Wins the Weekend

Mama Box Office
Universal

Is Jessica Chastain a movie star? Probably not. At least not yet. However, this weekend proved that she’s well on her way to being one. Headlining the top two films  at the box office in a single weekend is a great start. The Oscar nomination certainly doesn’t hurt either.

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Mama $28,122,000 $10,624 $28,122,000
2 Zero Dark Thirty $17,600,000 $5,974 $55,900,000
3 Silver Linings Playbook $11,351,000 $4,499 $55,300,000
4 Gangster Squad $9,110,000 $2,936 $32,300,000
5 Broken City $9,00,000
$3,435 $9,000,000
6 A Haunted House $8,330,000 $3,856 $29,900,000
7 Django Unchained $8,243,000 $3,276 $138,300,000
8 Les Miserables $7,800,000 $3,030 $130,300,000
9 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $6,405,000 $2,757 $287,300,000
10 The Last Stand $6,300,000 $2,163 $6,300,000

 

Audiences didn’t flock to ‘Mama‘ because Chastain was starring in it (they flocked to it because PG-13 horror movies open like gangbusters), but it was easily the biggest opening of her career so far, edging out last week’s strong ‘Zero Dark Thirty‘ numbers. Like most horror movies, that $28 million is probably going to account for most of the movie’s final gross (it’ll take a big drop next week), but it didn’t cost too much so everyone’s happy. In Chastain’s case, it almost means that she now has a critical and commerical hit in theaters at the same time. Expect a ton of scripts to show up on her agent’s desk on Monday.

Even more impressive than ‘Mama’ is the second weekend of ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ which took a small drop from last week, grossing $17 million. With $55 million in the bank, it’s essentially tripled the gross of ‘The Hurt Locker’ and has made the entire Academy look stupid for not nominating Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director. It’s all the more impressive when you realize that audiences are embracing an extremely dark and difficult film. Good for them! And once again: good for Chastain.

Also good: ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ which finally expanded wide after weeks of limited release and grossed a solid $11 million for a $55 million total. The movie’s a true crowd pleaser, so word of mouth should be strong and the weeks ahead should be kind to it (especially with all of those Oscar nominations).

However, the weekend was not good for two other major releases. No one expected much out of ‘Broken City‘ (it was a January dump), so that $9 million opening isn’t too shocking, but no one expected ‘The Last Stand‘ to perform as terribly as it did. What was supposed to be the grand return of Arnold Schwarzenegger was, in actuality, the first genuinely disastrous opening of 2013. With $6.3 million, it barely even made it into the top ten. That’s ugly, guys. Really ugly. So much for being back.

Everything else was business as usual. ‘Gangster Squad’ continued to underperform in its second week and will quietly limp into the realm of movies that no one ever talks about, ‘A Haunted House’ pulled a solid second week and ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Les Miserables’ continued to race to $150 million. Towards the bottom of the top ten, ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ looks ready to leap to $300 million within the next week or so.

Next week sees the release of ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,’ ‘Parker’ and ‘Movie 43.’ With competition like that, you can expect ‘Mama’ to take next weekend again.

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