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article image'The Last Stand' tanks while 'Mama' scares up big box office win

By Tim O'Brien     Jan 20, 2013 in Entertainment
It wasn't Arnold Schwarzenegger who ruled the box office this weekend, but rather Jessica Chastain. In not one, but two movies. She was in a battle with herself - and won. Huh?
With her new film, "Mama," beating out her Oscar-nominated turn in "Zero Dark Thirty," Chastain has started the year in style. As noted in an earlier report, this would be a weekend to see if Arnold is back. Well, not quite. It also seemed odd that the release schedule on a January weekend featured Mark Walhberg, Russell Crowe and Schwarzenegger on it. It leads one to believe they knew they were not up to par.
So, they dumped those films during January. The month is usually not for the blockbusters. Therefore, those looking for those award votes and buzz, could get more attention. Most of the films up for awards had their big roll-outs already, so the buzz matters more now. For a January, a film like "Mama" doing so well is a surprise, but Chastain may have helped a bit, but it is more like the horror angle.
By the way, "The Last Stand" not only tanked, it is hovering at No. 8-10. Ouch. While "The Last Stand" may get the blasting headlines, "Broken City" bombed, too - big time. And "Mama's" take of $33.2 million was better than most though it would be. A great deal better.
Weekend Updated 1.21.13
1. "Mama" - $28 million - through holiday Monday, $33.2 million
2. "Zero Dark Thirty" - $17.2 million and $18.7million
3. "Silver Linings Playbook" - $11.3 million - projected, $13 million
This is also a holiday weekend, so when is all said and done, there will be the usual three-day numbers, then the four-day figures. It won't help Arnold's film, despite being picked up in more theaters as Friday rolled around.
Award notes
Was there any Golden Globe bounce, not only for winners, but for the nominees that got some air time - an face time of late. Surely, it helped Chastain, as she is also nominated for Oscar. As for "Silver Linings Playbook," which is a harder sell, the star power of Oscar nominee and Globe winner, Jennifer Lawrence, it was a solid third as it went wider.
Looking at it in another way, Oscar contenders losing big to a horror film may send a chill up the spines of a few movie studio executives. But, Daily Variety reports it this way. Because of the PG-13 rating for "Mama," it helped the film: "There hasn't been a PG-13 film targeted at young girls in a long time," Nikki Rocco, prexy of domestic distribution for Universal said. "Our film really stood on its own," she added.
A few more movies notes include "Django Unchained" grossing its way to the best Quentin Tarantino film. "Skyfall" officially went over $300 million Friday and "Life of Pi" is poised to go over $100 million very soon.
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