As her six performances from 2011 conclusively demonstrated, Jessica Chastain is one of the greatest, most versatile actors alive. And yet, apart from her supporting performance in The Help, Chastain’s incredible work from two years ago largely went by unnoticed by mainstream moviegoers. (For some reason, Tree of Life, Coriolanus, and Take Shelter failed to take the box office by storm.)
Well, that situation just changed pretty dramatically. Fresh off her victory at the Golden Globes, Chastain starred in both of the weekend’s two top movies: Mama, a PG-13 supernatural thriller produced by Guillermo del Toro, came in first place with $28 million, and Zero Dark Thirty, in its second week of wide release, came in second place with $17.6 million. For Mark Wahlberg (whose Contraband was a surprise hit last January) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (making his return to the big screen after a 10 year absence), this must have come as very bad news; Wahlberg’s Broken City only grossed $9 million for a fifth place finish, while Schwarzenegger’s Last Stand came in 10th with just $6.3 million.
In other news, Silver Linings Playbook finally went into wide release, and it did pretty well, grossing $11.4 million for a third place finish. This development makes the best actress Oscar even harder to predict than it was before. For awhile, it looked like Jennifer Lawrence would be the clear winner. Then Zero Dark Thirty came along and Jessica Chastain stole some of Lawrence’s thunder. But now that Silver Linings seems to have had a resurgence while Zero Dark Thirty has been getting bogged down in controversy (several Academy members have stated that they will not vote for a movie that endorses torture, no matter how well-made), it looks like things may have swung back in Lawrence’s favour.
Here are the weekend’s top 10 movies:
1. Mama $28.1M
2. Zero Dark Thirty $17.6M (total: $55.9M)
3. Silver Linings Playbook $11.4M ($55.3M)
4. Gangster Squad $9.11M (total: $32.2M)
5. Broken City $9M
6. A Haunted House $8.33M (total: $30M)
7. Django Unchained $8.24M (total: $138M)
8. Les Misérables $7.81M (total: $130M)
9. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $6.45M (total: $287M)
10. The Last Stand $6.3M