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After three weeks building up buzz in small release, Zero Dark Thirty expanded to almost 3,000 locations this weekend, taking the number one spot with $24 million. Not bad for a heavy political drama arriving after the holidays, but perhaps not good enough for a movie made on a $40 million budget. If awards season is kind to the project, it may see enough continued sales to be as successful at the box office.
Spoof comedy A Haunted House debuted at second place with $18 million. It's not a remarkable sum but given it's very modest $2.5 million price tag, it's a financial coup for fledgling studio Open Road Films which was founded by the AMC and Regal theater companies in 2011.
Despite exciting trailers that heavily featured heartthrob Ryan Gosling, period crime drama Gangster Squad opened at third with $16 million. The movie marks the wides release ever for a movie starring Sean Penn and, but, given this start it's not likely to be one of his highest grossing appearances.
Two movies that have shown box office longevity ended up making more this weekend than last and moved up the chart. Now on its tenth weekend in release, Lincoln added another $6 million to its $152 million total and moved up to the seventh place spot from eighth last week. Silver Linings Playbook, which slipped out of the top ten to 12th place last week, snuck back up to tenth place with $5 million.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: