‘Mama’ Exceeds Expectations with $28.1 Million Three-Day Start

on January 20, 2013 by Daniel Garris

Early 4-Day Weekend Estimates:

Mama -- $33.2 million**
Zero Dark Thirty -- $21.4 million**
Silver Linings Playbook -- $13.5 million*
Gangster Squad -- $10.7 million*
Broken City -- $10.5 million*
A Haunted House -- $10.15 million**
Django Unchained -- $10.0 million*
Les Misérables -- $9.5 million**
The Hobbit -- $7.8 million*
The Last Stand -- $7.35 million**
Lincoln -- $6.735 million**
Parental Guidance -- $5.5 million*
Life of Pi -- $4.3 million*

* = Boxoffice.com Estimate
** = Official Studio Estimate

Universal's Mama debuted with an estimated $28.1 million over the three-day frame (four-day estimate is $33.2 million) to lead this weekend's box office with ease. The PG-13 horror film starring Jessica Chastain greatly exceeded pre-release expectations, which were in the $20 million range for the four-day frame. Clearly, Mama was helped out in a big way by the lack of non-R rated films in the current marketplace, especially among films released within the month of January. As evidence, the audience breakdown for Mama skewed heavily towards younger moviegoers (63 percent of the film's audience was under 25 and 35 percent of the film's audience was under 17).  Mama also skewed towards female moviegoers (61 percent). Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Mama delivered the ninth largest three-day opening weekend ever for the month of January. Making this weekend's debut even sweeter was the film's production budget of just $15 million.

With a B- CinemaScore rating (which is very solid for a horror film) and all three of next weekend's wide releases being R-rated, Mama will have a good chance of holding up well next weekend by horror film standards. Internationally, Mama grossed $1 million from six smaller foreign markets this weekend.

Jessica Chastain also found herself in second place this weekend, as Sony's Zero Dark Thirty remained strong with an estimated three-day take of $17.6 million (four-day estimate is $21.4 million). Strong word of mouth and continued Oscar Buzz continues to help the Best Picture nominee, which was down a modest 28 percent from last weekend over the three-day frame. Zero Dark Thirty has grossed $55.94 million to date. That places the film 34 percent ahead of 2007's The Bucket List and 23 percent behind 2008's Gran Torino at the same point in their respective runs.

The Weinstein Company's Silver Linings Playbook had a healthy expansion this weekend with an estimated third-place three-day gross of $11.35 million. After expanding into an additional 1,713 locations, the Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence was up a terrific 126 percent over last weekend's three-day frame. Silver Linings Playbook has grossed $55.31 million to date and should remain a factor at the box office throughout the rest of the Oscar season.

Turning to the bad news this weekend, Fox's Broken City and Lionsgate's The Last Stand both proved to be major disappointments. Broken City debuted in fifth pace with an estimated three-day take of $9.0 million, which represented Mark Wahlberg's poorest debut in years.  Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger's comeback attempt, The Last Stand, landed all the way down in tenth with an estimated three-day gross of just $6.3 million. With so many other R rated films having been released into the marketplace over the past month, there was ultimately no demand for either Broken City or The Last Stand this weekend.

Two of last weekend's R-rated releases, Warner's Gangster Squad and Open Road's A Haunted House experienced relatively better results, but were still down significantly nonetheless. Gangster Squad placed in fourth with an estimated $9.11 million, while A Haunted House claimed sixth with an estimated $8.33 million. Respective percentage declines from last weekend were 47 percent for Gangster Squad and 54 percent for A Haunted House. Through ten days, Gangster Squad has grossed $32.22 million. A Haunted House has grossed $29.94 million over the same span and boasts the far more impressive performance of the two films when taking price-tags into account.

In other box office news, Sony's Skyfall topped the $300 million domestic mark this weekend.  The blockbuster James Bond film has grossed $300.94 million to date after grossing an estimated $1.05 million over the weekend.  Skyfall reached the $300 million domestic milestone in 71 days.

Tags: Skyfall, A Haunted House, Gangster Squad, The Last Stand, Broken City, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty, Mama

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