Jessica Chastain packed quite a punch at the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday box office as her two films — horror pic Mama and best picture Oscar contender Zero Dark Thirty — upset the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Final numbers for the four-day weekend show Mama, from Universal and producer Guillermo del Toro, grossing $33 million, far outpacing expectations on the strength of younger females. Studio insiders say the movie clearly benefited from its teen-friendly PG-13 rating.
Sony and Annapurna’s Zero Dark Thirty placed No. 2 in its second weekend of nationwide release, grossing $18.7 million for a domestic total of $57 million. The movie, from director Kathryn Bigelow, is among a handful of best picture contenders enjoying a bump from awards attention.
The prime example over the MLK weekend was David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook, which soared up the box-office chart to No. 3 as it finally expanded nationwide, grossing $13 million for a domestic total of $57 million. Many box-office observers had thought Harvey Weinstein made a fatal mistake in deciding not to open the film nationwide in November, opting instead for a limited rollout.
Broken City, starring Wahlberg, Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones, opened to a disappointing $9.5 million to come in No. 6. The action-thriller, from Emmett/Furla Films and New Regency, received dismal reviews.
Fellow new entry The Last Stand, Schwarzenegger’s first leading role since 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, turned in an even more dismal performance, grossing $7.2 million and placing No. 10. The Lionsgate action pic’s performance could pose problems for the actor’s planned return to stardom.
In North America, Mama prospered thanks to young females; women and teenage girls made up 61 percent of the audience, while an impressive 63 percent of the audience was under 25. The horror pic was made for a modest $15 million.
Broken City and Last Stand both were rated R and ended up competing for the attention of older males; 78 percent of the audience for each was older than 25.
At the specialty box office, the France-produced best picture Oscar contender Amour continued to overperform, grossing $462,000 from nine theaters for a location average of $12,833 and cume of $1.2 million, a tidy sum for a foreign-language title.
Here are the full results for Jan. 18-21 holiday weekend at the domestic box office (* denotes best picture Oscar contender).
Title, Weeks in release/theater count, studio, three-day weekend total, cume
1. Mama 1/2,647, Universal, $33 million
2. *Zero Dark Thirty, 5/2,946, Sony/Annapurna, $18.7 million, $57 million
3. *Silver Linings Playbook, 10/2,523, The Weinstein Co., $13 million, $57 million
4. Gangster Squad, 2/3,103, Warner Bros., $10.3 million, $33.4 million
5. A Haunted House, 2/2,160, Open Road Films/IM Global, $9.7 million, $31.3 million
6. Broken City, 1/2,620, Fox/New Regency, $9.5 million.
7. *Les Miserables, 4/2,579, Universal, $9.25 million, $131.8 million
8. *Django Unchained, 4/3,012, The Weinstein Co., $9.23 million, $139.4 million
9. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 6/2,323, Warner Bros./New Line, $7.7 million, $288.7 million
10. The Last Stand, 10/2,027, Lionsgate, $7.2 million