Huffington Post: After nearly a month in limited release, Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty (review) finally went wide this weekend and it grossed $24 million to top the weekend box office. The film now has a $29 million cume.
In an alternate universe, one where The Gangster Squad opened on September 4th and Zero Dark Thirty opened wide in late December, Open Road would have had the weekend to itself for the Marlon Wayans found-footage horror spoof A Haunted House. Financed for just $2.5 million, the picture still withstood heavy competition and debuted with $18.8 million. This was somewhat of a ‘passion project’ for Wayans, having had the Scary Movie franchise more or less taken from them after the underwhelming second installment (he called it, not incorrectly, more of a Celebrity Rehab that a satirical series at this point).
Anyway, the film received expectantly terrible reviews, but the utter absence of dumb comedy in the marketplace right now, as well as the obvious draw for African American audiences, helped it become hugely profitable in just its first three days. It actually had a surprisingly high 2.8x weekend multiplier, meaning that there was a clear demand for what this film was selling. We’re actually getting a Scary Movie 5 this coming April, starring the likes of Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen (as well as relative innocent bystander Ashley Tisdale), so it will be interesting to see how the next chapter of the original franchise compares with this cheaper offshoot. [Read more]