Zero Dark Thirty Blasts Past Controversy, Tops Weekend Box Office

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If the box office reports from this weekend are any indication, there truly is no such thing as bad press.

In spite of accusations from left-wing pundits that it condoned and glamourized the use of torture in gaining information, director Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which details the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden, opened number one at the box office this weekend with $24 million.

Distributed by Sony Pictures, the film had already opened in select cities over the past three weeks. Its wide release on Friday was meant to coincide with the week’s Oscar nominations. As expected, the hype surrounding the film appears to have caught moviegoers’ interests.

According to an article by the Los Angeles Times, Zero Dark Thirty was not the only film to get a post-nomination boost. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln saw a 17 percent increase from its previous weekend numbers, bringing its total domestic number to $152.6 million. Likewise, Silver Linings Playbook saw a 38 percent jump in its box office grosses.

In second place, A Haunted House, the horror spoof from Scary Movie star/co-writer Marlon Wayans, netted $18.8 million. Costing only $2.5 million to produce, the low-budget film can already be deemed a success. The same, however, could not be said of the critically panned Gangster Squad. The revisionist gangster film, which starred Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Emma Stone, mustered a disappointing $16.7 million. When placed against the film’s $60 million budget, this does not bode well for the film’s future prospects.

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