Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville in 'The Last Stand'
In a box office upset, new horror pic Mama -- starring Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain -- is easily winning the long Martin Luther King weekend and badly beating two films packing plenty of male heat, the Mark Wahlberg-Russell Crowe action-thriller Broken City and Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Last Stand.
Mama, from Universal, is projected to top the four-day holiday weekend with a better-than-expected $33.2 million after taking in $28.1 million for the three-day stretch, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Broken City is expected to gross $10 million for the four-day weekend after a disappointing three-day take of $9 million. The movie, from Emmett/Furla Films and New Regency, received dismal reviews, although it earned a B CinemaScore. Broken City all but tied with holdover Gangster Squad for No. 4.
From Lionsgate, Last Stand came in at a lacklustre No. 10 after earning $6.3 million for the three-day weekend. The gun-laden action pic, which is expected to gross $7.4 million for the four days, marks Schwarzenegger's first leading role since 2003 and doesn't bode well for the actor's planned return to stardom. Nearly 80 percent of the audience was over the age of 25.
Chastain has plenty of reason to celebrate -- Sony and Annapurna's Zero Dark Thirty is holding at No. 2 with a three-day gross of $17.6 million and a projected four-day take of $21.4 million. That gives her the top two spots at the domestic box office.
Zero Dark Thirty is one of four Oscar best picture contenders enjoying a noticeable bump from awards attention. David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook is the weekend's most noticeable example as it expanded nationwide, grossing $11.4 million to come in No. 3 and pushing its total to $56 million.
Silver Linings is expected to take in $14.2 million for the four-day holiday weekend in a major victory for The Weinstein Co. Many box office observers thought Harvey Weinstein made a fatal mistake in deciding not to open the film nationwide in November, opting instead of a limited run.
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 the age of 25. The horror pic, made for a modest $15 million, is clearly benefiting from its PG-13 rating.
Conversely, Broken City and Last Stand had to compete for older males (78 percent of Broken City's audience also was over the age of 25).
Here are the full results for the weekend of Jan. 18-20 at domestic box office (* denotes Oscar best-picture contender). Final numbers for the four-day holiday weekend will be released Monday.
Title, Weeks in release/theatre count, studio, three-day weekend total, cume
1. Mama 1/2,647, Universal, $28.1 million.
2. *Zero Dark Thirty, 5/2,946, Sony/Annapurna, $28.1 million, $55.9 million.
3. *Silver Linings Playbook, 10/2,523, The Weinstein Co., $11.4 million, $55.3 million.
4. Gangster Squad, 2/3,103, Warner Bros., $9.1 million, $32.2 million.
5. Broken City, 1/2,620, Fox/New Regency, $9 million.
6. A Haunted House, 2/2,160, Open Road Films/IM Global, $8.3 million, $30 million.
7. *Django Unchained, 4/3,012, The Weinstein Co., $8.2 million, $138.4 million.
8. *Les Miserables, 4/2,579, Universal, $7.8 million , $130.3 million.
9. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 6/2,323, Warner Bros./New Line, $6.4 million, $287.4 million.
10. The Last Stand, 10/2,027, Lionsgate, $6.3 million.