×

‘Mama’ overperforms with projected $33.2 mil holiday total; ‘Zero Dark’ stays solid with $21.4 mil

'Django' scores $48 mil in o'seas bow for worldwide cume of $188.3 mil

It was a good holiday weekend for Jessica Chastain in particular at the box office, as her films “Mama” and “Zero Dark Thirty” together earned an estimated $54.6 million in four days.

Universal’s PG-13-rated chiller “Mama” led with a projected $33.2 million through Monday; Sony’s “Zero Dark Thirty” dropped 28%, grossing $21.4 million; Stateside cume is $59.7 million.

Internationally, Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” (via Sony) scored a sturdy $48.1 million from 54 debut territories, including Germany, which led with a chart-topping bow estimated at $9.6 million. Worldwide tally is a projected $188.6 million, including a Stateside total of $140.2 million through Monday.

Overall domestic box office saw a healthy 9% increase over last year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day extended frame.

The Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook” provided considerable support, expanding wide to 2,523 locations in its 10th weekend, with an estimated $14.2 million in four days. Domestic cume is $58.1 million.

The weekend’s two R-rated wide openers struggled: Fox’s Mark Wahlberg-Russell Crowe starrer “Broken City” collected just north of $10 million through Monday, while Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “The Last Stand,” which is being distributed by Lionsgate, grossed just $7.4 million over the long weekend.

Nikki Rocco, prexy of domestic distribution for Universal, attributed the overperformance for the female-skewing “Mama” to its less-restrictive PG-13 rating. “There hasn’t been a PG-13 film targeted at young girls in a long time,” Rocco said. “Our film really stood on its own.”

U won this frame last year with “Contraband,” which debuted at No. 1 with $28.5 million domestically in four days.

“Mama,” which scored a so-so B- CinemaScore, drew 35% of its opening from auds under 17. The pic’s No. 3-grossing theater in El Paso, Texas, showed a likely sizable Hispanic turnout. The $15 million-budgeted film should make a tidy profit for U, especially as the film launches throughout the 53 territories where the studio retains rights.

The scarer and “Zero Dark Thirty” (at $63.6 million worldwide) give the Oscar-nominated Chastain more commercial vehicles to topline after several roles in arthouse pics and a supporting turn in 2011 box office hit “The Help.”

As with “Zero Dark Thirty,” the patient rollout strategy for David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” which stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, was timed to capitalize on awards fever, as well as tap into a largely commercial audience. The Weinstein Co. kept the film iin a relatively limited release until last weekend, when it expanded to 810 engagements.

“We waited and waited, and took a lot of heat from people, but we needed to maximize our talent of this great film,” said TWC distribution topper Erik Lomis.

Also in Weinstein’s stable, “Django Unchained” continues to hold steady after bowing wide Christmas Day. Pic is already Tarantino’s highest-grossing film domestically, beating “Inglourious Basterds” (at $120.5 million); bolstering “Django” is a stellar start overseas, where it outdid the comparable international debut of “Basterds” by a commanding 30% despite snowy conditions throughout most of Europe this weekend.

In Russia, however, “Django” lost to Paramount’s early bow of “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” grossing $7.3 million, 98% from 3D.

Pigskin diversion

Domestically, Fox’s “Broken City” had to compete for male interest with Super Bowl playoff games on Sunday. The action-thriller, financed by New Regency and Emmett/Furla, drew a 58% male turnout, with 78% of the opening aud over 25. Pic scored a B CinemaScore.

Lionsgate’s “Last Stand,” which also received a B rating, could be similarly affected by football as the film scored nearly the exact same adult-male breakdown as “Broken City.”

Warner Bros.’ male-targeted holdover “Gangster Squad” managed to stay strong in its second frame. The film dropped a better-than-expected 47%, with $9.1 million through Sunday. Stateside cume is $34.3 million, with international totals through this weekend reaching $19 million.

Meanwhile, Open Road’s horror-themed comedy “A Haunted House” dropped 54% in its soph sesh, earning $8.3 million in three days, with an estimated $10.2 million in four. Domestic cume is $31.8 million.

Sony’s “Skyfall” reached the $300 million domestic mark this weekend. The film, which already surpassed $1 billion globally, bows today in China, lifting the film into the top 10 biggest worldwide grossers. “Skyfall” is currently No. 11 behind “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” at $1.044 billion.

And in limited Stateside release, Indomina bowed 2012 Sundance title “LUV” at 45 locations via its partnership with AMC Independent, averaging a tepid $2,000 per screen through Sunday. The film’s three-day estimated total is $90,000.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

  • Notre dame

    Locarno Film Review: 'Notre dame'

    Not to be too cynical about it, but might the recent horrific fire in Paris’ cathedral attract audiences to a film in which the gothic gem plays a major role? It’s likely a wiser marketing strategy than promoting the unrelenting silliness of Valerie Donzelli’s oh-so-kooky comedy “Notre dame,” the writer-director-star’s return to contemporary Paris following [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content