Weekend Box-Office: Jessica Chastain at #1 and #2 While Wahlberg and Schwarzenegger Suffer Defeats


Weekend Box-Office: Jessica Chastain at #1 and #2 While Wahlberg and Schwarzenegger Suffer Defeats
Photo: Columbia Pictures / Universal Pictures

Jessica Chastain gets the spotlight this weekend as she sits atop the box-office at both #1 and #2. In first was the Guillermo del Toro-produced horror Mama, racking up $28.1 million on a $15 million budget. A CinemaScore of only “B-” isn’t going to help its chances in the long run, but with a budget that small and a #1 finish, it should do quite well overall and it still has overseas prospects to look forward to.

In second is Zero Dark Thirty, adding $17.6 million to its total, which is now over $55 million. I’m sure those campaigning for a Best Actress Oscar for Chastain will love this extra bit of attention as Mama has certainly proven it’s not going to effect her chances one bit.

As for the last time an actor scored the #1 and #2 position at the box-office… Well, that was Chastain as well in 2011 with The Help and The Debt. Before that, Ashton Kutcher did it in 2006 with the animated film Open Season and The Guardian and Leonardo DiCaprio did it in 1998 with Titanic and The Man in the Iron Mask.

Laremy went with Zero Dark at #1 in his Thursday predictions and was at least close on the number, predicting a $18.4 million finish. However, he low-balled Mama at $15.6 million, but then again, so did most everyone.

The highest prediction for Mama from the readers was Athar at $22.5 million. He was the only one to go over $20 million on the flick, which means he saw something most everyone else didn’t.

Another Best Actress contender, and one I am calling the front-runner, had nearly as much attention this weekend as Jennifer Lawrence not only hosted “Saturday Night Live” but also saw her film, Silver Linings Playbook, finally expand nationwide and into 2,523 theaters where it brought in $11.4 million and it too is now over $55 million.

When it comes to Broken City, you’re looking at the worst opening for a wide released Mark Wahlberg film in twelve years. You have to go all the way back to Rock Star in 2001 to find one worse, which is sort of amazing considering that film also starred Jennifer Aniston at the height of her “Friends” career. Beyond that you have to go to The Corruptor in 1999, but that only opened in 1,804 theaters.

Broken City also boasted a cast including Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones, which is to say this film wasn’t light on talent, but audiences clearly weren’t liking what they were seeing from trailers and reviews didn’t help much. Opening in 2,620 theaters the film managed $9 million for the three-day and won’t likely be around for too long. So, pretty much your average January release.

On the reader prediction side of things, Chris Etrata was closest with an $8.4 million prediction while Laremy went high at $12.2 million. Chris was the only one to go below $10 million on Broken City and the only one to go below $10 million on our next film, which gives him the crown there as well…

The Last StandArnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand is the actor’s worst opening in over 25 years and nearly didn’t make the top ten. You have to go all the way back to 1986 and Raw Deal to find a worse opening for a Schwarzenegger film as The Last Stand could only muster $6.3 million and, like Broken City. It carried a “B” CinemaScore, which won’t help its word of mouth as much as it will allow it to fade away into the night, forgotten for eternity… or at least until the DVD and Blu-ray are released three months from now, then it will be forgotten.

Has Arnold’s big screen return ended before it began? It would seem Reddit Q&As and press junkets with tanks may give you Internet attention, but that’s about it.

In other news, Django Unchained opened internationally this weekend and scored $48.1 million in 54 territories (source) and Skyfall became only the fourth 2012 release to cross the $300 million mark domestically, the other three are The Hunger Games ($408m), The Dark Knight Rises ($448.1m) and The Avengers ($623.3m).

Next weekend’s selection of new releases doesn’t look too much better than this weekend with Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Movie 43 and the requisite Jason Statham actioner Parker. At least you can go see films like Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained if you haven’t done so yet, or maybe see them again?

Box Office

Weekend: Jan. 17, 2019, Jan. 20, 2019

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