Weekend Wrap-Up

Contraband Beats Devil, Beast and Beauty at MLK Box Office

By John Hamann

January 15, 2012

Wait. They're *really* just calling our movie Contraband?

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Landing in third is Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, now in its fourth weekend of wide release. A weekend ago, Ghost Protocol earned just short of $20 million and fell only 33%. This weekend, things were a little tougher, as with almost $200 million worth of tickets sold, it gets hard for something like this to hold an audience. Ghost Protocol earned $11.5 million, dropping 42% compared to last weekend. The gross and hold would have been worse had it not been for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Regardless, the Paramount sequel has certainly dominated the December/January box office, and has now earned $186.7 million at the domestic box office, as well as over $300 million from overseas cinemas. Next up for Cruise is Rock of Ages, being released by Warner Bros. in the summer. Like him or not, he's back in a very big way.

Fourth is Joyful Noise, the Queen Latifah/Dolly Parton comedy that has literally been advertising for months. The faith-based musical comedy (you know – with gospel songs!) earned $11.3 million this weekend, which is more than it had any right to. Joyful Noise has the feeling of a film made in the 1980s, and the critics agreed. It was only 37% fresh at RottenTomatoes, mostly due to an under-written script. It cost somewhere in the $30 millions to make, so unless the faith-based audiences really get on board this one, it will struggle to match it production budget to its domestic gross. For Dolly Parton, this is her first real starring role since 1992's Straight Talk, which earned only $21 million (Beauty and the Beast finished 11th that weekend).


Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows manages to finish in the top five for the last time, as it gets ahead of last weekend's winner, The Devil Inside. Sherlock had a better hold than Mission: Impossible this weekend, as the Robert Downey Jr. flick earned $8.4 million and fell 39%. Game of Shadows is never going to catch Tom Cruise and friends, but will finish as another profitable notch on the resume for Downey. Rumoured to have cost $125 million, Sherlock Holmes 2 has now earned $170 million stateside, and slightly more overseas. I wouldn't be surprised to see Guy Ritchie back with another of these.

Finishing way down in sixth this weekend is last weekend's winner, The Devil Inside. After opening last weekend to a super-strong $33.7 million, word got out that this one sucked (the Cinemascore was an F), as it has one of the more perplexing endings in horror history (take that Blair Witch). The result is a drop for the ages this weekend, as The Devil Inside could only muster $7.9 million, giving it a drop of 77%. While not the biggest drop of all time, it does join the realm of some really bad films. From Justin to Kelly dropped 77% in its second weekend and Uwe Boll's In the Name of the King dipped 76.8%. This drop fails to match the reboot of Friday the 13th, which moved from $40.6 million in its opening frame to its second weekend gross of $7.9 million (an 80.4% drop). Still, The Devil Inside was picked up by Paramount for less than a million, so even if this was Devil's ONLY weekend, it would still be hugely profitable. Give it $46.2 million so far.

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