Newcomers "A Haunted House" and "Gangster Squad" didn't stand a chance against the wide opening of "Zero Dark Thirty" at the Friday box office.
Kathryn Bigelow's controversial best picture nominee has been open in limited release for a few weeks now, but this is the first weekend its played to a wide audience, and the results are very strong, with the film earning $9 million on Friday.
"Zero Dark Thirty" will likely earn $25 million for the weekend, aided by word of mouth and its multiple Oscar nominations. Its domestic take now stands at $14.4 million.
Meanwhile, the two big new movies this week are neck and neck in theaters. Marlon Wayans' horror spoof "A Haunted House" scared up a surprisingly high $6.7 million on Friday, while the delayed all-star mobster flick "Gangster Squad" strong-armed a decent $6.6 million out of moviegoers.
Both films are expected to earn somewhere between $17 million and $19 million for the three-day.
Other best picture nominees received a bump at the box office as well. Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" came in at No. 4 with another $3.4 million (domestic total so far: $117 million); "Les Miserables" landed at No. 5 with 2.8 ($111 million), while Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" brought its take up to a whopping $148 million with another $1.8 million on Friday.
Wedged in there at No. 6 was Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," which earned another $2.3 million.
Meanwhile, in its second week of release, the horror remake "Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D" fell from the top spot all the way to No. 8, carving up $1.8 million. The domestic total for the inexpensive pic is now a bloody good $27.4 million.
Look for complete weekend estimates Sunday on HitFix.