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. 

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