New in Theaters: ‘Gangster Squad,’ ‘Zero Dark Thirty,’ ‘A Haunted House’

Posted 10:10 AM January 11th, 2013 by Logan Falk
Gangster Squad

This week saw a trio of new releases open this Friday; they’re a diverse bunch, consisting of a crime period piece, an action-drama thriller, and a horror film parody. As you could imagine, a variety of releases unfortunately means a variety of critical reception, and of expected profits for the weekend.

One of these releases is Gangster Squad, a noir-esque film set in 1949 about a mobster by name of Mickey Cohen, and the group of renegade cops who plan to take down his criminal empire.

Rotten Tomatoes was unfortunately not impressed—the film received a 33% rating. Though the period piece visuals are well-done, critics say the film lacks an original, engaging script, and its brutality wears thin after a while. Despite these apparent detriments to the quality of the movie, HSX puts its opening weekend profits between $19 million and $22 million.

Also opening today is Zero Dark Thirty, an action thriller inspired by the decade-long manhunt for Osama bin Laden. The film has earned a whopping 94% on the Tomatometer; according to critics, the film is done intelligently and powerfully, giving the harrowing events the emotional and political treatment that they deserve. Accordingly, the film is predicted to make $21-$24.3 million this weekend.

At the opposite end of the spectrum of ratings, content, and (arguably) quality is A Haunted House, a clear parody of mockumentary-style horror films. Like many of these films, it features a young couple moving into their new home, only to fall victim to a demon possession, here portrayed with what is supposed to be humor—critics say this is debatable.

The film was condemned with a devastating 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; critics say the film is shockingly not funny, and even painful to watch. Understandably, its weekend projections are much lower than those of the other releases for this week at between $12.5 million and $14 million.

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