Zero Dark Thirty raced to the top of the box office Friday as it expanded nationwide, grossing $9 million and besting Gangster Squad and A Haunted House.
Tracking had suggested that Zero Dark Thirty — which earned an Oscar nomination this week for best picture — would end up in a close race with Warner Bros.’ period mob flick Gangster Squad, but Gangster Squad ended up tying for No. 2 Friday with A Haunted House. Both films debuted at $6.7 million on their opening day.
Box office experts expect Gangster Squad to edge past Haunted House for the weekend, but each is projected to gross in the $17 million to $19 million range.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Gangster Squad focuses on a special task force formed by the Los Angeles Police Department during the late 1940s to fight mobsters. The movie boasts an all-star cast, including Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Michael Pena and Emma Stone star.
A Haunted House is a horror spoof starring Marlon Wayans. Open Road Films is distributing the movie.
Zero Dark Thirty (read Jane’s review here) chronicles the CIA’s decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden. The film has earned five Oscar nominations and is on track to become director Kathryn Bigelow’s top-grossing film to date.