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Weekend Box Office Top Ten: Low-Scoring Game Boosted by Veteran Holdovers

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood February 3, 2013 at 1:29PM

It was a piss-poor weekend at the box office. Grosses showed somewhat more strength Saturday than Friday. The Super Bowl always damages both audience turnout and viable new releases, but this looks like the worst in total gross since at least 2007, and less than that when higher ticket prices are included. And this doesn't come in a vacuum -- business has been down since the start of the year.

4. Mama (Universal) Week 3 - Last Weekend: #2

$6,700,000 (-49%) in 2,781 theaters (+99); PSA: $2,420; Cumulative: $58,200,000

Any drop of less than 50% for the third weekend of a horror film, more so with the competing factors, is a sign of some residual good reaction. This Spanish produced Jessica Chastain-starring film continues as the most successful new 2013 release, even more impressive with its $15 million budget.

What comes next: Nearly all the world has yet to open, but with these figures Universal likely will clamor for a sequel. Whether its acclaimed star would return at this stage of her career remains to be seen.

5. Zero Dark Thirty (Sony) Week 7 - Last Weekend: #3

$5,300,000 (-45%) in 2,871 theaters (-58); PSA: $1,846; Cumulative: $77,798,000

The biggest fall yet as this hits its fourth wide weekend, although not surprising as its older male core audience is occupied elsewhere.

What comes next: Barring major Oscar success, this likely won't quite make $100 million domestically, but it still has performed about as well as expected.

6. Bullet to the Head (Warner Bros.) NEW - Cinemascore: B-; Metacritic Score: 47

$4,500,000 in 2,404 theaters; PSA: $1,872; Cumulative: $4,500,000

The last of Joel Silver's films before he and Warner Bros. terminated their long-time production partnership (including the "Lethal Weapon," "Matrix" and "Sherlock Holmes" films) is also one of his least. Delayed from its original spring 2012 release date and placed to open in a nothing weekend, it did worse than even its low expectations.

Based on a popular French graphic novel and reported to have a budget of $50 million or more, veteran director Walter Hill ("The Warriors," "48 Hours") worked with Sylvester Stallone for the first time. Though the mixed reviews noted signs of some of Hill's past successes, particularly in the action sequences, this is another case -- right after Arnold Schwarzenner's disastrous "The Last Stand" -- where audiences who were curious to see aging icons together in "The Expendables 2" had little interest in them by themselves.

What comes next: A quick fade-out while hoping for better results overseas.

7. Parker (FilmDistrict) Week 2 - Last Weekend: #5

$3,215,000 (-54%) in 2,238 theaters (+14); PSA: $1,437; Cumulative: $12,440,000

Jason Stathan's contribution to the action-driven underachievers of early 2013 didn't fall as much as it might have, but that is about the only positive thing to report about the gross.

What comes next: Another film that will gross less than several much older Oscar nominees next week.

8. Django Unchained (Weinstein) Week 6 - Last Weekend: #6

$3,039,000 (-39%) in 1,777 theaters (-230); PSA: $1,710; Cumulative: $150,979,000

Another respectable week for this major hit, whose international gross now nearly equals its domestic performance.

What comes next: This likely will end up close second to "Les Miserables" as the biggest grossing Best Picture nominee worldwide (assuming "Lincoln" as it rolls out internationally has less appeal than at home.) The Quentin Tarantino franchise for Weinstein looks as strong as ever.

9. Les Miserables (Universal) Week 6 - Last Weekend: #9

$2,439,000 (-42%) in 1,848 theaters (-353); PSA: $1,320; Cumulative: $141,500,000

Another Top Ten week even as the gross falls off as this musical continues to show reasonable late-run strength.

What comes next: Though its Oscar wins won't likely to be what Universal hoped for, this still has managed to reach a very strong level.

10. Lincoln (Buena Vista) Week 13 - Last Weekend: #11

$2,412,000 (-38%) in 1,756 theaters (-153); PSA: $1,374; Cumulative: $170,787,000

Jumping back into the Top Ten, continuing to hold amazingly well as it ends its third month of playing wide, everything continues to go right for Steven Spielberg's acclaimed film (other than the Guild awards). This is playing like it is the people's choice to win and still getting audiences who want to catch up with it in case it does.

What comes next: At some level, this ongoing response is Disney's best case for it still to win Best Picture.

This article is related to: Box Office, Box Office, Box Office

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.