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Weekend Box Office Top Ten: 'Zero Dark Thirty' Takes Top Spot; Four Oscar Contenders Pass $100 Million

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood January 13, 2013 at 1:23PM

The initial wide release of "Zero Dark Thirty" easily made number one for the weekend, becoming only the second of the nine Best Picture Oscar contenders to attain that position ("Argo" did so for one week in October). Unusually, four Oscar rivals have already grossed over $100 million, one is closing in on that marker and another ("Silver Linings Playbook") be positioned to make a run at it.
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Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne in 'Les Miserables'
Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne in 'Les Miserables'
5. Les Miserables (Universal) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #3

$10,100,000 (-37%) in 2,927 theaters (+23); PSA: $3,640; Cumulative: $119,200,000

Though this took a post-holiday drop, its Oscar nominations likely kept them from being greater as its very successful domestic run continues just as other territories start to open (including a huge $13 million start in the UK).

What comes next: Golden Globe attention tonight won't hurt, but whether this can stay the course for the next few weeks until the awards remains an open question.

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Warner Bros) Week 5 - Last Weekend: #2

$9,080,000 (-48%) in 3,012 theaters (-763); PSA: $3,015; Cumulative: $278,124,000

A massive hit by any standards, this is now coming down to earth and a likely fast fadeout ahead. Heading toward a $1 billion gross worldwide and likely outpacing "Skyfall" among late-year releases, this is somewhat short of what "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" was doing at lower ticket prices nine years ago. The final film of that series in its fifth weekend did $10.2 million and was at $327 million. But it still had its Oscar nominations and wins ahead, which gave that film an extra two months this won't have.

What comes next: This has been a successful launch for this trilogy, although unlike the "Rings" films the initial entry might end up being the biggest. The next two though will still be in great demand by exhibitors.

7. Lincoln (Buena Vista) Week 10 - Last Weekend: #8

$6,314,000  (+17%) in 2,027 theaters (+38); PSA: $3,115,000; Cumulative: $152,579,000

The leader in nominations and frontrunner to win Best Picture got a strong boost in its tenth week of wide release and even added more theaters to climb over 2,000 again. This has been in the top 10 non-stop since its opening, outlasted many bigger openings during that period that have since fallen off the radar, and looks to continue to play non-stop until the awards. Many factors suggest Oscar success most notably the fact that this is the biggest hit with the public among the contenders.

What comes next: With a win, the previously long-shot marker of $200 million is a real possibility.

8. Parental Guidance (20th Century Fox) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #5

$6,100,000 (-37%) in 2,957 theaters (-411); PSA: $2,063; Cumulative: $60,650,000

This modestly-budgeted PG comedy came down to earth after a couple of strong holiday weeks, still finding a family audience as an alternative to R-rated and/or awards oriented fare.

What comes next: Strong enough to hold on in most theaters through the four-day holiday weekend ahead.

9. Texas Chainsaw (Lionsgate) Week 2 - Last Weekend: #1

$5,150,000 (-76%) in 2,659 theaters (+5); PSA: $1,937; Cumulative: $30,752,000

A plummet from number one for this Lionsgate horror film pickup, which is a bit worrisome considering the reported $20 million marketing commitment the company made when acquiring it.

What comes next: This might not be enough to keep this series reboot going, at least at the level of theatrical positioning this managed.

10. Silver Linings Playbook (Weinstein) Week 8 - Last Weekend: #12

$5,000,000 (+38%) in 810 theaters (+65); PSA: $6,173; Cumulative: $41,306,000

The top percentage gainer among the Oscar Best Picture nominees (other than the much more limited and expanding "Amour"), this shows signs of being the film that could have the most to gain in weeks ahead, with its first wide release coming up, at last, next week.

What comes next: This could be the one major Oscar contender to still be placing in the top ten in the weeks just before the awards, a great position for a competitor to be in.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook, Lincoln, Gangster Squad, Django Unchained, Les Miserables


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