a haunted house poster*”Zero Dark Thirty” killed ’em at the box office this weekend, bringing in over $24 million after getting an Oscar nomination for best picture.

However, the conventional wisdom was that “Zero Dark Thirty” world end up in a tussle with mob flick “Gangster Squad.” Yep, the prediction was that when the smoke cleared  the worst that could happen is that one of those would be number two.

Wrong! “Gangster Squad” came in at number 3.

Number two is Marlon Wayan’s not exactly scary, but super raunchy and hella  funny “A Haunted House.”

Fueled by African-American and Latino moviegoers, Haunted House outpaced expectations to gross a hearty $18.8 million for Open Road Films, IM Global and Endgame Entertainment. Placing No. 2, the movie starring Marlon Wayans is a parody of the Paranormal Activity franchise and other found-footage films.

IM Global financed Haunted House through its Octane label, while Jim Sern‘s Endgame put up the marketing money. According to exit surveys, 48 percent of those buying tickets were African-Americans, and Latinos made up 30 percent.

Open Road marketing head Jason Cassidy credited much of the film’s success to Wayans, who crisscrossed the country doing publicity. “Marlon created a groundswell,” he said.

Read/learn more at the Hollywood Reporter.

Here are the full results for the weekend of Jan. 4-6 at domestic box office (* denotes Oscar best-picture contender).

Title, Weeks in release/Theater count, Studio, Three-day weekend total, Cume

1. *Zero Dark Thirty, 4/2,937, Sony/Annapurna, $24 million, $29.5 million.

2. A Haunted House, 1/2,160, Open Road Films/IM Global, $18.8 million.

3. Gangster Squad, 1/3,103, Warner Bros., $16.7 million.

4. *Django Unchained, 3/3,012, The Weinstein Co., $11.1 million, $125.4 million.

5. *Les Miserables, 3/2,927, Universal, $10.1 million, $119.2 million.

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 5/3,012, New Line/MGM, $9.1 million, $278.1 million.

7. *Lincoln, 10/2,027, Disney/DreamWorks, $6.3 million, $152.6 million.

8. Parental Guidance, 3/2,957, 20th Century Fox, $6.1 million, $60.7 million.

9. Texas Chainsaw 3D, 2/2,659, Lionsgate, $5.2 million, $30.8 million.

10. *Silver Linings Playbook, 9/810, The Weinstein Co., $5 million, $41.3 million.