You really only need to say one thing about the opening weekend of Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty': it made more in three days than 'The Hurt Locker' did in its entire run. If there's anything that's going to alleviate getting snubbed for at the Oscars in the Best Director category, it's that.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
1Zero Dark Thirty$24,000,000 (+790.2)$8,172$29,481,000
2A Haunted House$18,170,000$8,412$18,817,000
3Gangster Squad$16,710,000$5,385$16,710,000
4Django Unchained$11,065,000 (-44.7)$3,674$125,399,000
5Les Miserables$10,127,000 (-36.8)
6The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$9,080,000 (-48.2)$3,015$278,124,000
7Lincoln$6,314,000 (+16.6)$3,115$152,579,000
8Parental Guidance$6,100,000 (-37.1)$2,063$60,650,000
9Texas Chainsaw 3D$5,150,000 (-76.3)$1,937$30,752,000
10Silver Linings Playbook$5,000,000 (+38.2)$6,173$41,306,000


After a month of limited release, 'Zero Dark Thirty' rode critical acclaim, Oscar nominations and an extraordinary amount of (mostly stupid) controversy to the top of the box office with $24 million. That's a big number for a pitch dark espionage procedural, but hey, we'll take it. The real challenge will come next week -- now that more people have seen it, will audiences flock back to a lengthy, emotionally exhausting drama that paints its world and characters in shades of grey? Hopefully, yes. No one's made their money back on this one quite yet.

'Zero Dark Thirty' wasn't the only film to benefit from Oscar attention this week. Steven Spielberg's 'Lincoln' jumped up a spot in the top ten, taking in $6.3 million for a grand total of $152 million. That's what happens when your film leads the Oscar nominations, folks. A few spots away, 'Silver Linings Playbook' creeped into the top ten, grossing $5 million for a $41 million total. Although it hasn't done the business many pundits were expecting following its strong festival run, the Awards season may make this one a hit after all.

While 'Zero Dark Thirty' effortlessly took the top spot, 'A Haunted House' grabbed the number two spot with $18.1 million and 'Gangster Squad' took number three with $16.7. For the cheap 'A Haunted House,' this is a great number (although it'll probably drop like a stone next week). For 'Gangster Squad,' this is a dead-on-arrival number, an appropriate epitaph for a troubled film with a history of delays, reshoots and controversy.

In the fourth and fifth slots, 'Django Unchained' and 'Les Miserables' continued to run neck and neck, grossing $11 million and $10.1 respectively. The former has officially become Quentin Tarantino's highest grossing film and the latter is proving that filmgoers still hunger for a big musical. Both films have exceeded all expectations and have earned big pats on the back.

In the sixth spot, 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' is starting to slow down, but $300 million is definitely going to happen...unless something goes horribly wrong. But it shouldn't. We think.

Finally, let's wrap this up with 'Texas Chainsaw 3D,' which ruled the roost last week but took a devastating 76% drop this week, falling from the first spot to the ninth. That's a nasty tumble, even for a horror movie. Although the film is already in the black, the producers should probably reconsider making a sequel -- audiences have rejected this one.

Next week, 'The Last Stand,' 'Broken City' and 'Mama' will all vie for your attention. Put your money on the one starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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