January 20, 2013

Chastain: Box Office Queen

OK I was going to try to avoid  a post about Jessica Chastain (just to break the monotony) but this one couldn't be avoided because of it's rarity.
It's been talk of the blogosphere and twitterverse that Jessica Chastain dominated the box office this weekend!  Her film Mama where she plays a punk rock bass player charged with taking care of two feral children earned the top spot at the box office during this extended MLK weekend.  It is projected to earn $33 million for the extended weekend.  Previously, bloggers were worried that Mama could be Chastain's "Norbit" (you know, the awful Eddie Murphy movie that came out around the same time as Dreamgirls.  Some people believe it cost him the Oscar).  Surprisingly this Guillermo Del Toro produced horror flick gained favorable reviews in several publications with critics like Richard Roper and The Hollywood Reporter plus it's getting a 62 % fresh rating in Rotten Tomatoes.  Clearly, Chastain's knack of choosing her projects have paid out. 
Coming second at the box office is her nominated and critically acclaimed Zero Dark Thirty (my review soon to follow) which earned $17.6 million (it's cumulative total is now $ 56 million).  Both films beat out the Walhberg/Russell Crowe Broken City and Schwarzenneger The Last Stand.  Websites such as EW, Awards Daily, Rope of Silicon and The Wrap who follow the Oscar race have stated that this 1-2 punch at the box office is a rare occurrence where the same actor plays the lead in two distinctly different movies (franchise or non-franchise).    All this while she's still starring on Broadway in The Heiress during this crucial Oscar season!
Addendum (1/22/2013, 11:53 pm): It also appears that post-Golden Globes win, Ms. Chastain's play The Heiress earned a 13.7% bump in the box office selling out all shows this past weekend.  The play earned $ 150K more than the week before.  Read it here.
(photo above from IMDB.com)


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