Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man' Is "Definitely A Sony Picture," Talks Role Of 'Ant-Man' In Phase 3, More First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" First Reviews For 'Terminator Genisys' Suggest Franchise Didn't Need To Say "I'll Be Back" Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' Kit Harington & Dakota Fanning Replace Robert Pattinson & Mia Wasikowska In 'Brimstone' The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The Essentials: The 5 Best Colin Farrell Perfomances The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 10 All-Time Best Episodes Of 'Parks And Recreation' The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Weekend Box Office: Audiences Smuggle 'Contraband' Into The Number One Spot Over 'Beauty & The Beast 3D'

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist January 15, 2012 at 1:43PM

After a year which sported the lowest attendance numbers in sixteen years, studios are looking for all the bright sides they can find. Thus far, 2012 has provided them, with big number one debuts for a cheap horror acquisition and, now, a solidly mid-budgeted star vehicle. "Contraband" nailed the top spot this weekend, of the four day holiday weekend, that was slightly down from last year. However, this is a solid win for Universal, who spent $40 million on the Mark Wahlberg project, gambling that the film would open uncharacteristically big for an R-rated January offering.
2
Contraband

After a year which sported the lowest attendance numbers in sixteen years, studios are looking for all the bright sides they can find. Thus far, 2012 has provided them, with big number one debuts for a cheap horror acquisition and, now, a solidly mid-budgeted star vehicle. "Contraband" nailed the top spot this weekend, of the four day holiday weekend, that was slightly down from last year. However, this is a solid win for Universal, who spent $40 million on the Mark Wahlberg project, gambling that the film would open uncharacteristically big for an R-rated January offering.

Wahlberg's one of those curious leading men, as no one seems to know if he's an A-Lister. He's got an Oscar nomination under his belt, but of the five $100 million domestic hits he's had so far, he was only the lead in "The Italian Job" and the franchise-killing "Planet Of The Apes." But if you've got him in the lead role, he's almost a lock for at least a $50-$60 million final gross. Interestingly, his vehicles are never very expensive, as he's also one of the few current stars that doesn't need special effects or fantasy settings to be a compelling screen presence.

Beauty and the Beast 2

In a very close second place was "Beauty And The Beast 3D," which came in under the "The Lion King" re-release last fall. Which was to be expected, as few Disney titles have the cachet of "The Lion King," but this is still a big number for an older title. Disney has further 3D re-releases coming, the next one being "Finding Nemo," but this business model could certainly impress non-Disney studios as well, now that the strength of catalog titles has weakened thanks to a softening DVD market.

With it's biggest drop yet, and still holding steady, is "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," which solidly passed the first film's domestic gross. A canny global expansion had led to even bigger numbers overseas, and the second film's $546 million tally is well within reach. There was always a decent-sized gap between the 'M:I' movies, but with Tom Cruise's dance card filling up and his age advancing, it will be interesting to see if Paramount is able to properly capitalize on what's surely the most well-received film in the series.

"Joyful Noise"
"Joyful Noise"

"Joyful Noise" came and went, opening at a number significantly higher than a Queen Latifah-Dolly Parton joint should. It was followed by the "Sherlock Holmes" sequel that is definitely benefiting from having less competition than its predecessor. At this rate, it's performance compared to the original film will not be unlike how "Iron Man 2" followed its original, as 'Game Of Shadows' is on pace to be weaker domestically, but somewhat more robust overseas. And don't look now, but "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" could conceivably cross $100 million in the next week or two should it continue to stay in the mix (or get an Oscar nomination boost), and with stronger-than-expected early grosses internationally, the film is looking like one of winter's stronger performers.

Dropping far out of first was "The Devil Inside." Depending on final estimates, the found-footage horror film could drop as much as 80% from it's smash opening weekend. Pretty disastrous, even for a horror film, and in the neighborhood of the shocking 80% second weekend plummet that met "Friday The 13th." "The Devil Inside" was so cheap that its likely the studio expected, and didn't even care about, this second weekend performance, so even with such a mass exodus, Paramount is just swimming in it.

"War Horse" and "We Bought A Zoo" are still holding moderately well, but neither is going to finish with breakout numbers. Losing a number of theaters in week five was the latest "Chipmunks" movie, as Fox finally cut bait with the understanding the film will finish considerably lower than the last two films. And rounding out the top ten, surging with a solid expansion was "The Iron Lady," with a decent per-screen on only 802 screens.

In limited release, the biggest numbers are coming, surprisingly, from "A Dangerous Method." The Sony Pictures Classics release has expanded as slowly as most SPC titles do, but in week eight it's still averaging $5k per-screen, moving over 100 engagements for the first time. The film is at $2.8 million, and seems to have caught on with the arthouse contingent. In less engagements, the $44k score for "We Need To Talk About Kevin" was achieved on only two screens, while "Pina" averaged $18k at six locations bringing its three week total to a solid $540k despite a very limited release. 

"Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close" brought in solid numbers on six screens, $88k added to a $632k total before the film's coming wide release. "A Separation" also gathers heat on six screens with a $13k average and an $80k gross to add to a $322k tally. And the doc "Sing Your Song" (which had already debuted on HBO last year) had a quiet opening weekend with $12k on two screens. Support your local arthouse theater, boys and girls.

1. Contraband (Universal) - $24.1 million
2. Beauty And The Beast 3D (Disney) - $18.5 million
3. Tom Cruise Workout Tape Vol. 4 (Paramount) - $11.5 million ($187 mil.)
4. Joyful Noise (Warner Bros.) - $11.3 million
5. Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock Holmesin' (Warner Bros.) - $8.4 million ($170 mil.)
6. Tatted-Up Vengeance Chick Who Likes Dragons (Sony) - $8.3 million ($88 mil.)
7. The Devil Inside (Paramount) - $7.9 million ($46 mil.)
8. Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwich (Fox) - $5.8 million ($119 mil.)
9. War Horse (Disney) - $5.6 million ($66 mil.)
10. The Iron Lady (Weinstein) - $5.4 million ($6 mil.)

This article is related to: Contraband, Mark Wahlberg, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Beauty and the Beast, Walt Disney Pictures


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates