Box Office Results for January 18, 2013


This weekend, the supernatural horror Mama knocked out the competition opening at number one with a sensational performance delivering one of the best January debuts ever for a horror film.  It was a Jessica Chastain double feature as the Oscar-nominated actress also starred in the number two movie in North America over the long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Zero Dark Thirty, which held strong in its second round of wide release.  Rival Oscar contender for Best Picture Silver Linings Playbook expanded into a full national run and jumped into the number three spot while the other new releases disappointed.  Mark Wahlberg’s Broken City debuted in fifth and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback vehicle The Last Stand took last place in the top ten with a dismal debut.  Overall, the Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend was very healthy and about even with recent years with four Best Picture nominees making the top ten.


Scaring up plenty of business at number one was the fright flick Mama, which soared to an estimated $33M over the four days from 2,647 locations for a sizzling $12,480 average.  The PG-13 film not only gave Jessica Chastain above-the-title credit, it also represented her second straight weekend with a number one debut with both Mama and Zero Dark Thirty having $20M+ bows.  Though she was not the major selling point for either film, it is still extremely rare for any actor to headline the top two films on the same weekend.

Mama worked its magic by catering to the underserved demographic of young females.  Studio research showed that the $15M-budgeted picture’s audience as 61% female and 63% under 25.  More than a third of the audience was under 17.  With the box office dominated by older-skewing films, Mama presented something exciting for young people.  And with the next five most popular films on the chart having R ratings, it was one of the only things that younger teens could go and see.  The current flood of serious adult films and action pictures left a huge opening for someone to come in with a teen-skewing picture and Universal took full advantage of the situation.  Next weekend’s line-up again features all R-rated films.

Every weekend this month has seen a low-budget film aimed at the under-30 crowd overperform and attract larger than expected crowds on the opening frame.  Texas Chainsaw and A Haunted House both debuted better than expected and all dealt with the horror genre in some way.  January has long been a great month for horror movies to sell.


Columbia and Annapurna enjoyed a sturdy frame for its awards contender Zero Dark Thirty, which ranked second with an estimated $18.7M over four days in its second weekend of wide release.  Lead actress Jessica Chastain won the Golden Globe last weekend and continued to see strong sales for her Osama manhunt pic, which watched its total climb to $57M on its way to a likely $100M+ finish.


In its tenth weekend of release, Silver Linings Playbook finally expanded fully nationwide and jumped up to number three with an estimated $13M.  The Oscar nominee for Best Picture had patently waited to pounce allowing rival contenders to see their buzz rise and fall.  Now, with guns blazing, the Weinstein Co. release widened from 810 to 2,523 locations tripling its run and more than doubling its weekend gross.  Silver Linings Playbook averaged $5,160, which was good for a film now in its third month of play.  With an impressive $57M in the bank, the Bradley CooperJennifer Lawrence hit is hoping to enjoy sturdy legs over the coming weeks and hit the $100M mark.  Lawrence hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend bringing added attention to the film, which has earned Academy Award nominations in all four acting categories and eight overall.


Falling in its second weekend was the period crime saga Gangster Squad with an estimated $10.3M for fourth place.  The Warner Bros. release has banked $33.4M in ten days and should finish with $50-55M.  The spoof comedy hit A Haunted House tumbled as expected in its second weekend taking in an estimated $9.7M for a $31.3M cume in ten days.  Open Road and IM Global should end with a solid $45M.


The new Mark Wahlberg-Russell Crowe political drama Broken City got off to a slow start in sixth place with an estimated $9.5M from 2,620 theaters for a weak $3,626 four-day average.  The R-rated film about a corrupt mayor up for re-election who hires a former cop to investigate his wife earned mostly negative reviews.  The CinemaScore grade for the 20th Century Fox, New Regency, and EFF release was a lackluster B.  Heavy competition for adults was also an issue.  Wahlberg has been bankable in so many recent films and even topped this same MLK weekend last year with Contraband, which opened to $24.3M over three days.


Oscar contenders for Best Picture Django Unchained and Les Misérables followed with good holds grossing estimates of $9.2M each over four days.  Quentin Tarantino’s top-grossing film ever has hit $139.4M while Working Title and Relativity’s pricey musical hit a cume to date of $131.8M.  Django Unchained began its overseas run through Columbia this weekend and grossed a red hot $48.1M from 54 markets with most opening bigger than the director’s last film Inglourious Basterds.  The Jamie Foxx pic stands at $187M worldwide and counting.


Dropping to ninth with an estimated $7.7M was December’s biggest grosser The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey giving New Line and MGM a mammoth $288.7M to date.  Worldwide total is now a towering $920M.


Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former box office superstar, in his first starring vehicle since 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines crashed and burned opening in tenth place as the action pic The Last Stand debuted to an estimated $7.7M over the long holiday weekend for Lionsgate.  It was the actor’s worst opening in 27 years and puts into question his drawing power for future films, which are already scheduled to open like his next action film The Tomb with Sylvester Stallone arriving in September.  Stallone opens his next solo action film, Bullet to the Head, in two weeks on February 1, while fellow Expendable Jason Statham opens his next solo action film Parker next weekend.

The Last Stand earned reviews that were somewhat mixed but generally positive and better than what the former governor routinely sees.  Older men made up the bulk of the small audience to no surprise.  Studio research from Lionsgate showed that 60% of the crowd was male and 78% was over 25.  A B CinemaScore grade and dull $2,163 from 2,913 theaters indicate a fast fade ahead.  A marketplace with too many options for adult men also contributed to the poor debut.


Older Best Picture nominees continued to rake in extra cash during the lucrative nominee period when everyone is a contender.  Presidential hit Lincoln grossed an estimated $6.8M for a robust $161.9M to date for Touchstone, DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox, and RelianceFox 2000’s Life of Pi expanded and climbed up to an estimated $4.2M putting the total at a clean $100M.  Double Golden Globe winner Argo widened for the second straight weekend and saw sales shoot up to an estimated $2.7M and $115.3M overall.  At this time of year, Globe wins and Oscar nods are key endorsements that can get in business from new audiences that thought films weren’t special enough to see the first time around.


Elsewhere, the James Bond juggernaut Skyfall reached a new milestone by breaking the $300M domestic mark on Friday.  The Columbia and MGM smash did an estimated $1.2M for $301M overall.  Already over the $1B global mark the latest 007 film finally opened in China on Monday and is expected to be a big seller.  Last winter’s Hollywood spy film Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol grossed over $100M in that market.


The top ten films grossed an estimated $127.6M over four days, which was off 1% from last year’s MLK weekend when Working Title Films and Relativity Media’s Contraband opened at number one with $28.5M; and down 2% from 2011’s holiday when Columbia Pictures’ The Green Hornet debuted in the top spot with $40M.


However, MLK weekend fell on the previous weekend the last two years.  Last year on this weekend, Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment’s Underworld Awakening debuted at number one with $25.4M; and two years ago, Paramount Pictures, Cold Spring Pictures, and Spyglass Entertainment’s No Strings Attached opened at the top spot with $20.3M.

January 18, 2013 to January 20, 2013 Top Ten

Mama   Zero Dark Thirty   Silver Linings Playbook   Gangster Squad   A Haunted House

Broken City   Les Miserables teaser   Django Unchained   The Hobbit   The Last Stand

1.   Mama

  • $33,035,000
  • a Universal release (NBCUniversal)
  • De Milo and Toma 78

2.   Zero Dark Thirty

3.   Silver Linings Playbook

  • $13,019,000
  • The Weinstein Company

4.   Gangster Squad

5.   A Haunted House

6.  Broken City

7.   Les Misérables

  • $9,246,000
  • Working Title Films (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media

8.   Django Unchained

  • $9,235,000
  • The Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

9.   The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

  • $7,715,000
  • New Line Cinema (Warner Bros. Entertainment) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM Holdings)

10. The Last Stand


January 20, 2012 to January 22, 2012 Top Ten

Underworld 4   Red Tails B   Contraband   Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close   Haywire

Beauty and the Beast 3D   Joyful Noise   Mission Impossible 4   Sherlock Holmes 2   The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

1.   Underworld Awakening

  • $25,400,000
  • Screen Gems (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Lakeshore Entertainment

2.   Red Tails

  • $19,100,000
  • a 20th Century Fox release (Fox Entertainment Group)
  • Lucasfilm Ltd.

3.   Contraband

  • $12,200,000
  • Working Title Films (NBCUniversal) and Relativity Media

4.   Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

  • $10,500,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

5.   Haywire

  • $9,000,000
  • Relativity Media

6.   Beauty and the Beast 3D

7.   Joyful Noise

8.   Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

9.   Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

  • $4,800,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment) and Silver Pictures

10. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

  • $3,800,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM Holdings)


January 21, 2011 to January 23, 2011 Top Ten

No Strings Attached   The Green Hornet   The Dilemma   The King's Speech   True Grit

Black Swan   The Fighter   Little Fockers   Yogi Bear   Tron 2

1.   No Strings Attached

  • $20,300,000
  • Paramount Pictures (Paramount Motion Pictures Group), Cold Spring Pictures, and Spyglass Entertainment

2.   The Green Hornet

  • $18,100,000
  • Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

3.   The Dilemma

4.   The King’s Speech

5.   True Grit

  • $8,000,000
  • Paramount Pictures (Paramount Motion Pictures Group) and Skydance Productions

6.   Black Swan

7.   The Fighter

  • $4,515,000
  • a Paramount release (Paramount Motion Pictures Group)
  • Relativity Media

8.   Little Fockers

  • $4,394,000
  • Universal Pictures (NBCUniversal) and Paramount Pictures (Paramount Motion Pictures Group)

9.   Yogi Bear

  • $4,060,000
  • Warner Bros. Pictures (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

10. Tron: Legacy

~ by Matt Whitfield on January 24, 2013.

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