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Weekend Box Office: One Chastain to rule them all 

It seems unlikely that some variation on the statement, “I’ll see anything Jessica Chastain is in” reverberates through the living rooms of America. (Though it certainly should.) But Chastain’s much-joked-about prolificacy paid off over the weekend, as her latest films finished one-two at the box office. The biggest surprise was the exceptional performance of Mama, a Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror film, which crushed the competition with $28.1 million, a figure that far exceeded even the most generous estimates. Embedded in the numbers is a stat suggesting that maybe Chastain’s presence helped after all: Women comprised a hefty percentage (61%) of the audience. Zero Dark Thirty took $17.6 million for second, keeping itself in a contentious Oscar conversation. But the real news is the catastrophic performance of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback vehicle The Last Stand, which posted a dismal $6.3 million for 10th place, despite getting the coveted A.V. Club bump. After spending a decade away to pursue an increasingly ignominious political career, Schwarzenegger has segued smoothly into a deeply unpopular film. Still, the big man has a slew of can’t-miss projects on the horizon, so hooray for him. Finally, Mark Wahlberg couldn’t replicate the Winter-dumping-ground success of last year’s Contraband: His Broken City grossed a worse-than-middling $9 million.

There’s little to report in the indie world, as the Common-starring Luv was the only new film to post numbers. And unflattering numbers they were: The film made $90,000 in 45 theaters, for a per screen average of [we’ll let you do the math on this one].

For more detailed numbers, you’d normally visit Box Office Mojo, but today, there’s the Wall Street Journal and Deadline.


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