As the country prepares to remember the man who had a dream, moviegoers were more interested in nightmares. It may be the Martin Luther King Day weekend, but the four-day holiday box office belongs to a queen, and her name is Mama.
Mama was the matriarch of the box office, overperforming with $33.2 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend. That was enough for the Jessica Chastain-starring supernatural thriller to take the top slot away from last weekend’s number one, the Jessica Chastain-starring politico-action thriller Zero Dark Thirty, which still held strong at #2. Suffice to say it’s a good time to be Jessica Chastain and her agents.
The Presented by Guillermo Del Toro PG-13 fright flick did, however, only earn a fairly disappointing “B-“ Cinemascore from audiences polled. That would indicate it won’t have much hold in the coming weeks and once again proves that horror moviegoers are amongst the most fickle people that go to the movies these days.
Last weekend’s surprise hit A Haunted House dropped 50% down to 6th place with $10.2 million for the four-day holiday. Once again, I reiterate, do not underestimate the power of the lowest common denominator.
Unfortunately, the weekend was terrible for Leatherface. No; not that Leatherface. I meant Arnold Schwarzenegger. His big comeback vehicle crashed and burned in ways that would have been unthinkable a quarter century ago when he was the #1 box office superstar on the planet. The Last Stand landed in next-to-last place in the top 10 with only $7.4 million for the four-day weekend. The public’s apparent complete and utter disinterest in seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in a new big screen action flick may not bode well for producers wondering if the 65-year-old can still pull off another Conan or Terminator sequel.
As for the actual Leatherface, he’s already completely MIA after being in theaters for only three weeks. Texas Chainsaw 3D has gone from #1 to #9 to so far out of the top ten Variety didn’t even mention it.
Next weekend Mama faces stiff competition against three new big releases, including the much-delayed Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which is without question an absolute wild card of a picture that could open surprisingly big or be one of the biggest bombs of the new year.
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