Weekend Wrap Up: Jessica Chastain Goes 1-2

Last weekend was topped by the expansion of Zero Dark Thirty, with Jessica Chastain in the leading role. This week, she’s back on top, but with a different film. So Chastain accomplishes a rare feat of headlining two different movies that ruled the charts at the same time. With a possible Best Actress award coming her way next month, this is a very good time for her.

Mama

Mama opened to a very strong $28.1  million. That opening alone beats the entire lifetime gross of Guillermo Del Toro’s last horror film, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Also, it beats the expansion of Zero Dark Thirty from last weekend. I find it rather sad that more people seriously found Mama appealing than Zero Dark Thirty on their respective opening weekends, though after analyzing the box office for several years, this is the kind of thing I’ve come to expect. I think it will definitely have better legs than Texas Chainsaw 3D, but should still freefall in the coming weeks.

The second entry in the Chastain 1-2 punch, Zero Dark Thirty, slid a promising 28% to $17.6 million. This isn’t a great hold per se, but it’s still a good sign that the word of mouth is good, and this bodes well for its chances of surpassing $100 million. Its gross stands at just under $56 million now.

After hanging out around spots 10-15 for weeks, the expansion of Silver Linings Playbook catapults it all the way up to number three, which is better than I had expected. It’s a pleasing result, though, as Playbook is a very good film, though even I was surprised by how many Oscar nominations it garnered. Anyway, it pulled in $11.4 million, which was up 126% from last weekend, but you have to factor in that it added almost 2000 theatres and also, honestly, the public awareness of this film just wasn’t very high before Jennifer Lawrence’s Golden Globe win and the Oscar nominations. With $55 million in the bank, Playbook has an outside shot at $100 million if it can hold well and bring home some Oscar gold.

Fourth goes to Gangster Squad, which fell 47% to $9.1 million for a total of $32 million. For all the star power assembled here, I think this has to be deemed a failure, especially considering the $60 million budget. Broken City debuted to a weak $9 million. Well, at least Russell Crowe can enjoy the success of Les Miserables, even if he’s getting a lot of flack about his singing ability.

Predictably, A Haunted House fell hard, 54% to be exact. $8.3 million this weekend gives it a running total of just under $30 million. But with that miniscule $2.5 million budget, Marlon Wayans is laughing all the way to the bank. Anyway, Django Unchained (the D is silent) held well, dropping just 25% to $8.2 million. With $138 million so far, it’s well ahead of Inglourious Basterds as Tarantino’s highest grossing film, and it could end up with as much as $170 million.

Les Miserables dropped just 19%, and it seems like it might actually start making up ground on Django (the D is silent) soon. Anyway, $7.8 million lifts its sum to $130 million. Down 30%, The Hobbit grossed $6.4 million this weekend. Now at $287 million, it should inch its way over $300 million, but I grow increasingly worried about the second two movies in the planned trilogy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the action movies that made him a star (unless you count his supporting roles in The Expendables flicks) sputters out, opening in tenth with just $6.3 million. In other box office news, Skyfall finally surpassed $300 million down in 19th place. How a franchise goes from three films in the $160 millions to going over $300 million is beyond me, especially when said franchise is over fifty years old.

Well, this was a busy weekend at the box office, but as I’ve mentioned, it ended up being dominated by the now household name of Jessica Chastain. Next weekend brings us a smorgasbord of new films, each with something to offer their target audiences.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters: Continuing the alarming trend of updating classic stories to make them “gritty” or “real,” this one really just seems like nobody was even trying. I mean….seriously? I’ll give it $12 million for the weekend.

Movie 43: This could easily be either hilarious or just uncomfortably unfunny. I’m mighty curious, though I worry they spoiled all the funniest jokes in the trailer. It’s got starpower in spades, though that hardly accounts for anything anymore. I’ll say $14 million.

Parker: As I’ve said to my friends, I don’t know why they bother giving Jason Statham characters names. Every one of his action movies should just be called Statham. And then add numbers accordingly. Anyway…. what his last movie? Safe? That opened to about $8 million, so let’s just say this opens to the same.

 

 

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