New horror pic Mama and holdover Zero Dark Thirty — both starring Jessica Chastain — easily topped the Friday box office with $10.1 million and $4.6 million, respectively.
From Universal, Mama is projected to gross a stellar $30 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Zero Dark Thirty should gross an impressive $18 million for Sony and director Kathryn Bigelow.
Zero Dark Thirty wasn’t the only awards contender enjoying a boost at the box office. The Weinstein Co.’s Silver Linings Playbook made headlines on Friday as it expanded nationwide, grossing $3 million for a projected four-day gross of $12 million to $13 million.
Silver Linings ended up tying with new action-thriller Broken City, starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones, for No. 3. Distributed by 20th Century Fox, the movie was financed and produced by Emmett/Furla Films and New Regency. It’s projected to take in a so-so $10 million to $11 million for the four days.
The news was dismal for The Last Stand, which marks Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s first leading role in nearly a decade. The Lionsgate film grossed $2 million on Friday for projected four-day gross of $6.7 million.
The MLK weekend has become a lucrative frame for Hollywood, and with kids out of school on Monday, Mama — about a woman who must care for two feral girls found in the woods — could be benefiting from being rated PG-13, while Broken City and Last Stand are both rated R.
In Broken City, Wahlberg plays a former cop who is asked by the mayor (Crowe) to investigate the politician’s wife, only to uncover a bigger scandal.
Last Stand features Schwarzenegger as a border-town sheriff who takes on a drug cartel. The film also stars Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Rodrigo Santoro, Genesis Rodriguez and Luis Guzman.
Mama received a B- CinemaScore (a solid grade for a horror title), while Last Stand and Broken City each got a B.