Jessica Chastain gets Oscars boost with boffo box office

While her Oscar and SAG Awards rival Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook“) was making merry on “Saturday Night Live,” Jessica Chastain was starring in the top two grossing films of the weekend.

The two flicks couldn’t be more different: the new horror film “Mama” and Best Picture contender “Zero Dark Thirty.” While Andres Muschietti’s remake of his Spanish flick of the same name failed to impress reviewers, scoring a tepid 58 at MetaCritic, it still took in $29 million. And Kathryn Bigelow‘s docudrama about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden netted $17 million in its second week of wide release, despite a gathering storm of criticism over its depiciton of torture. 

Chastain is currently headlining a revival of “The Heiress” on Broadway playing a plain girl, wooed by a rogue (Dan Stevens) much to the chagrin of her stern father (David Strathairn). This is the part that won Olivia DeHavilland her second Oscar back in 1949 and Cherry Jones the Tony for the 1995 revival. 

Buoyed by Chastain’s heightened profile, this rialto remount is doing boffo business, with all four shows this weekend SRO. She could well contend for the Best Actress in a Play Tony this spring. 

This coming weekend, she will be missing a matinee to jet west for the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday evening. Our odds have her in a tight race with Lawrence for Best Actress.

-ADDPREDICTION:79:29:Click to predict Best Actress at SAG:ADDPREDICTION-

Chastain won their first face-off — the Critics Choice Awards — while they each took home Golden Globes as they contended in different categories. After SAG, their next showdown is the BAFTAs on Feb. 10. 

9 thoughts on “Jessica Chastain gets Oscars boost with boffo box office

  1. I love how the psuedo-hipsters are trying to find any angle to deprive Lawrence of the award. So does this cancel out $400 million for the Hunger Games? And SLP will grind its way towards the $100 million mark. The only reason Lawrence is not winning is that she is 22 and this makes people very uncomfortable. And the Chastain role in ZDT was the Oscar equivalent of a layup, just not very challenging nor much of an opportunity to show emotional range. Several roles Lawrence has already done are tougher than ZDT, including the Hunger Games.

  2. Incidentally, Mama is doing decent business because of del Toro and the fact that it was the only PG-13 offering. It will follow the standard horror arc, doing about $65-70 million.

  3. Jessica Chastain is amazing! What it comes down is their two “showy scenes”. If I had to choose, it’d be Jessica. Jennifer is good at crazy but Jessica is better as stoic. Her last scene is breathtaking.

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