New box office releases from Warner Brothers and independent Open Road Films couldn't top the charts this weekend, beaten out for the No. 1 spot among moviegoers by the CIA drama Zero Dark Thirty, according to data compiled by Rentrak (UNKNOWN: RENT.DL ) .
Distributed by Sony (NYSE: SNE ) Pictures, Zero Dark Thirty pulled in $24 million in domestic movie sales this weekend, easily beating its competition for the chart-topping spot. Box Office Mojo puts the movie's production budget at $40 million. It's a solid start for the Academy Award-nominated movie, which Sony first opened in limited release before expanding across the nation this past weekend.
Open Road's A Haunted House and Warner Brothers' Gangster Squad pulled in $18.8 million and $16.7 million in ticket sales, respectively, to rank No. 2 and No. 3 for the weekend.
Despite Gangster Squad's hefty budget, which some outlets report as $75 million, and disappointing debut, shareholders of Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) -- the parent company to Warner Brothers -- needn't fret. WB's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, placing sixth this past weekend with revenue of just over $9 million, has crushed the box office over its entire run. The Peter Jackson-directed film, which still ranked third in worldwide sales this past weekend, has pulled in a cumulative total of more than $886 million globally during its theatrical run.