With awards season fast approaching, every little thing can make or break a film's chances of winning big. Luckily for Zero Dark Thirty, its ascension to the top of the box office may very well end up working strongly in its favour.

Kathryn Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden manhunt film made a surprise appearance at the top of the film charts this week, taking in $24 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and battling off some strong competition along the way too. The film, starring Oscar-nominee Jessica Chastain as a CIA agent embroiled in the hunt for Bin Laden, beat off competition from the latest Wayans Brothers horror spoof A Haunted House, which took in $18.8 million over the weekend, as well as fellow new release Gangster Squad, the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone starring modern noir, which managed to bring in just $16.7 million.

With the Golden Globe Awards happening tonight, an award or two might top off one heck of a weekend for Bigelow and her cast and crew, with the film up for four awards tonight. Bigelow, like Ben Affleck, will be looking for some love from the Globes in the director category in particular, given her Oscar snub in the division.