Zero Dark Thirty topped the second US Box Office weekend of the year as things started to pick up again with moviegoers.

January is traditionally a quiet month, with most people hunkering down until February, having spent all their cash on Christmas. However, the Oscar-nominated depiction of President Barack Obama’s search for Osama Bin Laden, directed by Kathryn Bigelow, managed to get people out of their houses and into the cinemas, with the film taking spot over the weekend with decent takings $24 million.

The film has come under much criticism, with some calling for a boycott of it and others complaining about how aggressively it portrays US interrogation techniques. Nevertheless, with its leading lady Jessica Chastain winning a Golden Globe last night (January 13) for Best Actress in a Drama, it looks like its success is here to stay. The film comfortable fought off tired horror parody A Haunted House, the Marlon Wayans-starring film taking second spot with takings of $18 million.

Behind that came perhaps the big disappointment of the weekend; Gangster Squad might have had one of the highest profile premieres in this fledgling year, but a critical booting slowed its momentum severely and the Ryan Gosling-starring crime film could only reach $16.7 million. Overall it was a good weekend for the US Box Office, with $142 million taken in total – up more than 7% on the figure recorded this time last year.

Watch the 'Zero Dark Thirty' Trailer