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Zero Dark Thirty tops US box office

Zero Dark Thirty

Story by Jack Foley

CONTROVERSIAL Oscar nominated movie Zero Dark Thirty has topped the US box office in its first weekend of expanding nationwide.

Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden movie made a better than expected $24 million ahead of comedy horror hope Haunted House and star-studded crime epic Gangster Squad.

The weekend victory, which comes in the face of ever mounting criticism of the film from political circles, was greeted with relief and joy by Sony worldwide president of distribution Rory Bruer.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “Zero Dark Thirty is a big success. Kathryn did a masterful job of telling this story.”

The film’s box office appeal was undoubtedly fueled by both the controversy surrounding it and the Academy Award nominations it received last week, which placed it in the running for Best Picture and Best Actress (for leading lady Jessica Chastain).

In second place, meanwhile, was parody Haunted House, which spoofs Paranormal Activity and other found-footage movies.

The film, starring Marlon Wayans, over-performed to take $18.8 million, ahead of Gangster Squad, which came in a disappointing third with 16.7 million.

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained came fourth and Les Miserables fifth, both buoyed by having received Oscar nominations, while Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook also received box office boosts by getting awards recognition.

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