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Weekend Estimates: Minor Oscar Effect as Zero Dark Thirty Wins

January 13th, 2013

As expected, Zero Dark Thirty will ride its Oscar nominations to a win at the box office this weekend, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. But the overall Oscar effect seems quite small. In fact, A Haunted House, which it's safe to say won't be on any Oscar lists this time next year, will have the highest per theater average in the top 10, and came in a very creditable second place with $18.8 million from just 2,160 theaters. Gangster Squad, which has some Oscar-style pedigree, but suffered from a delay for reshoots following the Aurora tragedy, will come in third with a slightly disappointing $16.7 million from 3,103 venues.

Among Best Picture nominees, Amour got the second-biggest jump from last weekend, but, like Zero Dark Thirty, it also expanded. It's still only in 15 theaters, so considerable expansion lies ahead, one suspects. Argo, meanwhile, is just about played out, but got a 57% boost to $1.2 million. With a per theater average under $2,000, that doesn't represent packed showings though. More significant bumps were enjoyed by Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln, both of which continue playing to decent crowds and will increase their earnings by 38% and 17% respectively this weekend.

Other Best Picture nominees didn't fare so well. Life of Pi will be down about 5% from last weekend, which would be great on a normal week, but rather less impressive immediately after Oscar recognition. Les Miserable and Django Unchained don't seem to have benefited at all from their nods, however, with the former down 37% from last weekend and the latter down a surprising 45%.

With all eyes on awards, only one limited release film broke through this weekend. Quartet is estimated at about $50,000 from two theaters for Weinstein Co..

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Quartet, Django Unchained, Gangster Squad, Silver Linings Playbook, Amour, A Haunted House