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January 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

In its first weekend in wide release, Zero Dark Thirty surprised box office pundits by raking in an estimated $24 million. The movie, which generated controversy over its apparent suggestion that the U.S. gained at least some of the information about the whereabouts of Osama bin Ladin via the use of torture, had been expected to earn $15-20 million. Also performing well above expectations was the horror flick A Haunted House. The film, which cost only $2.5 million to produce, had not been expected to enter the weekend as a contender; instead, it scared up $18.82 million to place second for the weekend and to earn more on a per-theater basis than any other film in wide release. Equally surprising — for the opposite reason — was the somewhat disappointing showing of the all-star Gangster Squad, which wound up with around $16.71 million, well below the $20-25 million that forecasters believed it would take in. Placing fourth was Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained with around $11.07 million, edging out Les Misérables with $10.13 million. In its fifth week, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey added $9.08 million to its gross, which now stands domestically at $278.12 million, and finished sixth. And on the strength of a slew of Oscar nominations, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln moved up to seventh place with $6.31 million, nearly 17 percent higher than the previous week to place seventh. The Bette Midler/Billy Crystal comedy Parental Guidance was close behind with $6.1 million in its third week, while last week’s winner, Texas Chainsaw 3D was chopped down to ninth place with $5.2 million, down more than 76 percent from the previous week. On the other hand, Silver Linings Playbook, also capitalizing on numerous awards and nominations jumped to tenth place with $5 million — 38 percent higher than a week ago.