SUNDAY UPDATE: Once again, frightfests proved to be brutally difficult to forecast as Mama scared up a gargantuan $28M for the 3-day weekend. With the majority of folks off tomorrow for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, the Universal release should double its $15M budget in its first four days. That gives Jessica Chastain the top two slots as Zero Dark Thirty held strong with $16M. But forget all that, Mark Wahlberg and Arnold Schwarzenegger own the headlines as Broken City and The Last Stand got obliterated. With a lowly $9M, the former became Wahlberg's worst opening in over a decade, while the latter finished tenth with a pathetic $6M – the Governator's worst opening ever. His last stand indeed.
1. Mama $28M
2. Zero Dark Thirty $16.5M
3. Silver Linings Playbook $11.3M
4. Gangster Squad $9.1M
5. Broken City $9M
10. The Last Stand $6.3M
Are you between the ages of 25-54? If so, Hollywood has you in its sights this weekend as the my top five films were made with your demo in mind. Fine, Mama should draw from the 18-24 crowd as well, but it's largely an assembled-for-adults scarefest. Teens will have to wait until next weekend for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which incidentally looks really, really, really wretched.
- Broken City $18M - I'm bullish on Marky Mark. Dude has a solid track record at the box office – coming off the $200M+ smash Ted and last year's surprise hit Contraband. Though there's one small issue, it's a clunker.
- Mama $17.5M - Made before her meteoric rise to fame, the Jessica Chastain-toplined tale of a couple of feral kids and their vengeful ghost of a mom (or something along those lines), finally makes its way to the multiplex. Horror/ghost flicks are so darn difficult to forecast so don't be surprised if this goes over - or under - my figure.
- Zero Dark Thirty $16.5M - Chastain takes two of top five slots with the 5-time Oscar-nominated non-fiction thriller raking more not-so-covert cash.
- The Last Stand $13M - Ahnold is back as the centerpiece of a cinematic offering. Can the Governator do damage without his "expendable" sidekicks?
- Silver Linings Playbook $11M - The lovefest with one of 2012 most overrated movies expands this weekend as the glorified rom-com finally goes wide with 2,500 theaters in play.