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‘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.