Zero Dark Thirty Owns The Weekend Box Office

The weekend box office numbers are in and to much surprise, or at least the surprise of this writer, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty has come out on top. It’s not that the Osama bin Laden thriller is a bad film, far from it, I just thought that with Gangster Squad (which features big draw names like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone) opening this weekend, that the number one spot would have gone to that film.

Either way, it’s still nice to see the box office dominated by R-rated titles, as that rarely happens. As Collider points out, to find another box office weekend where the top four films were rated R, you have to go way back to August 2009, where The Final Destination, Inglourious Basterds, Halloween 2 and District 9 held the top four spots.

As surprised as I am though that Gosling/Stone weren’t enough of a box office draw to give Gangster Squad the throne, I do need to give credit where credit is due. Bigelow’s film has a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and five Oscar noms under its belt. It’s also an incredibly compelling and gripping film. When compared to Gangster Squad, which does have star power but also has a 34% on Rotten Tomatoes, I suppose it’s a bit easier to see why the film disappointed. Plus, I’m sure Bigelow’s success with The Hurt Locker is definitely giving Zero Dark Thirty a bit of a boost. As a fan of the film, it’s great to see Bigelow’s latest effort doing so well, especially after her Oscar snub.

Second place is also interesting this week. A Haunted House, which has fared even worse than Gangster Squad, earning itself a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes, still claimed second place and more than made back its $2.5 million budget. Just goes to show you how much reviews matter, eh?

The film looks absolutely horrible and to see it making that much money really does surprise me. Then again, these types of films are usually quite successful as they seem to have a built in audience that will flock to theatres no matter how stupid the latest entry in the genre looks.

Check out the full weekend box office list below, courtesy of THR, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Title, Weeks in release/Theater count, Studio, Three-day weekend total, Cume

1. *Zero Dark Thirty, 4/2,937, Sony/Annapurna, $24 million, $29.5 million.

2. A Haunted House, 1/2,160, Open Road Films/IM Global, $18.8 million.

3. Gangster Squad, 1/3,103, Warner Bros., $16.7 million.

4. *Django Unchained, 3/3,012, The Weinstein Co., $11.1 million, $125.4 million.

5. *Les Miserables, 3/2,927, Universal, $10.1 million, $119.2 million.

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 5/3,012, New Line/MGM, $9.1 million, $278.1 million.

7. *Lincoln, 10/2,027, Disney/DreamWorks$6.3 million, $152.6 million.

8. Parental Guidance, 3/2,957, 20th Century Fox, $6.1 million, $60.7 million.

9. Texas Chainsaw 3D, 2/2,659, Lionsgate, $5.2 million, $30.8 million.

10. *Silver Linings Playbook, 9/810, The Weinstein Co., $5 million, $41.3 million.