Zero Dark Thirty Is Surprise #1 At Friday Box Office

By Katey Rich 2013-01-12 10:50:26discussion comments
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Zero Dark Thirty Is Surprise #1 At Friday Box Office image
It's an interesting weekend at the box office, and it really doesn't have much to do with the big new releases Gangster Squad and A Haunted House. Both of those films did reasonably well on Friday, but they're likely to be topped by Zero Dark Thirty, finally expanding nationwide this weekend and clearly building off its Oscar buzz to take the #1 spot.

Based on Friday estimates, it's not even close-- Deadline has Zero Dark Thirty making $9.6 million on Friday, with Gangster Squad trailing behind it at $6.6 million and A Haunted House right there with $6.5 million. Most of the top 10 is made up with Oscar nominees experiencing their own bumps-- Django Unchained and Les Miserables are holding strong in fourth and fifth place, while down at #8 Lincoln made another $1.8 million yesterday, bringing its domestic gross total to an astonishing $152.6 million.

My friend Nathaniel at The FIlm Experience did the math after the Oscar nominations and found that the average gross of the Best Picture nominees is $69 million, a pretty impressive number considering that doesn't include behemoths like The Avengers or Skyfall. Lincoln is the biggest of the bunch by far, but Django Unchained, Argo and Les Miserables have all crossed $100 million, with Life of Pi not far behind, and Zero Dark Thirty potentially on its way there. Silver Linings Playbook has made just a modest $37 million, but that's likely to increase thanks to all the Oscar nominations. Beasts of the Southern Wild made a significant $11 million in its brief theatrical run, but the smallest of the group by far is Amour, which has yet to crack $1 million. Thanks to its surprise Best Picture nomination, though, we can probably expect that number to tick up a whole lot too.

Let us know in the comments what you're seeing this weekend, and if you think Zero Dark Thirty deserved to beat out the competition.
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