Arnold Schwarzenegger might be back, but no one really cared. Audiences rejected The Last Stand (which landed in 10th), but were enamored with Jessica Chastain, as both her (very different) films took the top spots. Somwhat surprisingly, the low-budget horror film Mama took number one, out-seating Kathryn Bigelow’s much lauded Zero Dark Thirty. A newcomer to the top five was David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, which dominated the Golden Globes and gave rise to Jennifer Lawrence becoming known as “J-La.” (We’re still waiting for that to happen, like Gretchen and “fetch.”) In fourth was the movie loaded with men with loaded guns, Gangster Squad, and in fifth was Broken City.
Presented by Guillermo del Toro, this small budget horror film removes gore from the equation, focusing instead on a fairytale turned ghost story. The results are mixed, but Chastain certainly added to the film’s cache, as did Game of Thrones villain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Zero Dark Thirty $17,600,000 (Total: $55,944,757)
Back to her natural red hair in this film, Chastain has been earning accolades for her portrayal of the driven CIA analyst who tracked down Osama bin Laden. Though director Bigelow was snubbed for an Oscar nom, the film topped many Best Of lists and audiences still wanted to see what the fuss was about.
Silver Linings Playbook $11,351,000 (Total: $55,310,270)
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper star in this in semi-romantic comedy about two fractured people falling back in love with life (and thus each other)…through dance. What, you thought it was really a football movie?
Gangster Squad $9,110,00 (Total: $32,220,060)
Overall a lacking film, the real issue it raises is that fundamentally Josh Brolin looks better in a fedora than Ryan Gosling.
Broken City $9,000,000
In order to tide you over until Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain later this year, Mark Wahlberg kindly appeared in this film as a cop trying to fight corruption.