By Leonard Klady Klady@moviecitynews.com
The Weekend Report
The spine-tingling Mama scared up an estimated $27.9 million (all figures reflect 3-day period) during the MLK-Inauguration holiday frame to take top honors in the weekend movie sweepstakes. Two other new national releases bowed to less auspicious results. The gritty politics of Broken City struggled to $8.9 million and the return of the Governator in The Last Stand provided a less-than-affirmative $6.3 million.
In the niches the urban romance Luv failed to embrace with an $87,600 tally at 45 locations.
Revenues for the three-day portion of the extended weekend nudged to $150 million and a 2% push from the immediate past session. It was also a 9% improvement from 2012 when new openings of Contraband and Beauty and the Beast 3D led with respective openings of $24.4 million and $17.8 million.
Mama, an oddball tale of a young couple raising their feral nieces, was expected to challenge Zero Dark Thirty for top spot during the holiday session. But a potent $10 million opening-day gross put the modest production in the driver’s seat and gave actress Jessica Chastain the rare distinction of starring in the top two films in the marketplace.
Pundits expected the film to open with roughly $25 million for the four-day span and the added spur to its success was a PG-13 rating. Exit polls revealed an opening weekend crowd that was 63% aged 25-years old and younger and 61% female.
The murky world of city politics proved too obscure for Broken City. It swung 58% male with 78% of the audience aged 25 years and older.
But the highest focus vote rested on the big-screen return of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The critics generally felt that The Last Stand was a not-too-subtle parody of the actor’s former muscular vehicles and audiences clearly weren’t interested in a low-speed version of past glories. The faithful profile amounted to 60% male and 78% aged 25 years and beyond.
On the awards front Silver Linings Playbook expanded to a full national release to good effect and Amour continued to add playdates and capitalize on its many accolades. But if box office is any gauge of Oscar success (it isn’t) there’s no top dog in this dogfight. And there’s precious little time left to politick via the multiplex.