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'Mama' screams to top of N. America box office

L-R: Actresses Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse and Jessica Chastain at 'Mama' screening in New York, January 7, 2013
L-R: Actresses Megan Charpentier, Isabelle Nelisse and Jessica Chastain attend the "Mama" screening at Landmark's Sunshine Cinema in New York on January 7, 2013. "Mama" pushed the Oscar-tipped bin Laden manhunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty" out of the top slot

Newly released horror film "Mama" pushed the Oscar-tipped bin Laden manhunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty" out of the top slot at the North American weekend box office, industry estimates showed Sunday.

"Mama," in which a shadowy being trails two young children who were rescued after being lost in the woods when their parents died, screamed into first place with $28.1 million in ticket sales on its opening weekend.

It stars Jessica Chastain, who last week won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of a CIA officer in the acclaimed but controversial "Zero Dark Thirty." That film took in $17.6 million in its second weekend on national release, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The dark romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook," coming off a best comedy actress Globe win for star Jennifer Lawrence, zoomed to third place from tenth last week, raking in $11.4 million at the weekend box office.

In fourth place was the Sean Penn action flick "Gangster Squad," with $9.1 million, just barely ahead of newcomer "Broken City," a crime drama starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, which earned $9.0 million.

They were trailed by the comedy "A Haunted House," and Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked spaghetti Western tribute "Django Unchained," with $8.3 million and $8.2 million respectively.

Musical adaptation "Les Miserables" took eighth place, taking in $7.8 million, beating out "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the long-awaited first part of Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" prequel trilogy.

"The Hobbit," earned $6.5 million, for a total of $287 million.

And rounding out the top 10 was Arnold Schwarzenegger's new action flick "The Last Stand," which earned $6.3 million in its debut weekend.

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