Zero Dark Thirty surprised critics by topping the Friday box office in its first day to beat A Haunted House and Gangster Squad to lead the weekend movies.
On Friday, director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, about the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden, took in an estimated $9 million at the box office. Should Zero Dark Thirty continue the same momentum through the weekend, analysts predict the film will be on track for close to $25 million in its first weekend.
Behind Bigelow’s controversial story about the ten year mission to find Osama bin Laden was the Marlon Wayans horror comedy A Haunted House with $6.7 million in Friday ticket sales and the highly touted ensemble Gangster Squad at $6.6 million.
The success of Zero Dark Thirty, starring new Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain, comes after several critics took aim at Kathryn Bigelow over the film’s graphic torture scene and how some allege that it glorifies torture.
Perhaps what’s most surprising about the Friday box office numbers is the low take of Gangster Squad and the better than expected performance of A Haunted House, which critics have at 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The top box office numbers of Zero Dark Thirty come only two days after director Kathryn Bigelow was snubbed by the Academy Awards in the Best Director category despite the film earning a Best Picture nomination.
As for other box office heavyweights, Django Unchained took in another $3.5 million to land in fourth on Friday ahead of Les Miserables at $2.8 million.
What do you think of the Friday box office numbers?