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Warm Bodies heats up chilly weekend at US box office

Warm Bodies topped the US box office on a slow Superbowl weekend.

US box office figures were down a steep 26% this Superbowl weekend compared with the same weekend last year, but Warm Bodies came out on top, undaunted with a strong $20 million opening. The zombie rom-com stars Nicholas Hoult as an undead boy who falls for a human girl and begins coming back to life. Though the haul fell somewhat short of Zombieland’s $24.7 million opening, it was a remarkable success compared to the weekend’s other contenders. Warm Bodies will be released this Friday in the UK.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters dropped to second place earning $9.2 million in its second week of release. Internationally, the action fairytale mash-up also ranked second, bringing in $15 million. UK moviegoers can see Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton play the fabled siblings February 27.

Silver Linings Playbook continued its string of success, ranking third with $8.1 million in its twelfth week. The indie dramedy’s domestic gross now stands at $80.4 million, and it seems likely that earnings will cross the $100 million mark by Oscar time for this Best Picture contender.

Taking fourth and fifth places were Jessica Chastain’s two hits, Mama with $6.7 million and Zero Dark Thirty with $5.3 million. While horror-flick Mama has dropped precipitously since its release two weeks ago, Best Picture Oscar nominee Zero Dark Thirty has exhibited an impressive hold, now in its seventh week.

Sylvester Stallone vehicle Bullet to the Head bowed to a $4.5 million opening weekend in sixth place, while fellow action star Jason Statham’s Parker trailed, earning $3.2 million in its second week. It’s been a rough start to the year for The Expendables cast, with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand debuting to a meager $6.2 million just a few weeks ago.

Rounding out the top ten were Best Picture Oscar contenders Django Unchained with $3 million, Les Miserables with $2.4 million, and Lincoln with $2.4 million. These films also snagged the bulk of the top five spots internationally, with Django earning $30.6 million overseas in first place, Lincoln earning $13 million in third place, and Les Miserables earning $12.2 million in fifth place. In the UK, the musical is enjoying a successful run, now in its fourth week at number one.

Fourth place on the international charts went to South Korean film The Berlin File, which earned an impressive $12.8 million in its domestic market alone. The action drama from director Seung-wan Ryoo slipped into the top five on this soft international weekend. The story centers on South Korean intelligence agents on a mission in Berlin.

Next week’s major releases include Steven Soderbergh drama Side Effects starring Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum, as well as comedy Identity Thief starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. In the UK, Warm Bodies, Wreck-It Ralph, I Give It A Year and Hitchcock will make their market debuts.

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