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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Seventh is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which needed a hold as badly as The Devil Inside needs an ending. With a finish never above third, and a weekend total never above $15 million, a stellar hold this weekend would have helped the franchise proceed to the next step. It didn't happen, as Girl earned only $6.8 million and dropped 40%. It has reversed its way towards its production budget of $90 million, but it won't make much more than $100 million – if it gets there. This is a film that should have come out early last summer, as the hullabaloo over the books (and European films) has certainly dropped off. Give Girl With a Dragon Tattoo $88 million domestically, and only a little over $30 million from overseas grosses so far.

Eighth place goes to Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, which rises from the ashes to find itself in the top ten for yet one more weekend. The kid-friendly flick managed another $5.8 million, a drop of 39% from last weekend. Although the third film in the franchise is nowhere near the domestic totals of its predecessors, it still has earned $118.8 million domestically.

Ninth is War Horse, as Steven Spielberg's throwback simply doesn't get picked up during a season with lots of choices. War Horse earned $5.6 million and dropped 35%. The good news is that this one cost only $65 million to make and has a total so far of $65.8 million.


Finally in tenth is The Iron Lady, Meryl Streep's take on Margaret Thatcher. If you've read the reviews you know this one is all about the performance and not about the writing. Streep's performance convinced people to buy tickets, as The Iron Lady earned $5.4 million from only 802 venues. The Weinstein release earned a venue average of $6,716. The Iron Lady has a total of $6 million so far. In other Weinstein news, The Artist expanded slightly, moving up to 216 venues, and brought in $1.2 million. It had a venue average of $5,403. I saw The Artist on Friday, and despite a whole bunch of awards recognition, I don't think it will earn much more than $20 million. It was good, but a film like Hugo is so much better.

Overall, the box office was pretty good thanks to Contraband and Beauty and the Beast. The top 12 this weekend took in $114.5 million, less than a million behind last year's top 12 take of $115.5 million. Next weekend, and of course on top of the fact that Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star comes out on home vid, it's action weekend at movie theatres across North America. Haywire heats up, along with Kate Beckinsale in Underworld Awakening and Red Tails, a George Lucas-produced film about the Tuskegee Airmen.

Top Weekend Box Office for 1/13/12-1/15/12 (Estimates)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Contraband Universal $24,063,515 New $24,063,515
2 Beauty And the Beast 3d WALT DISNEY $18,490,000 New $18,490,000
3 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol Paramount $11,500,000 - 42% $186,700,000
4 Joyful Noise WARNER BROS. $11,345,000 New $11,345,000
5 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Warner Bros. $8,410,000 - 39% $170,010,000
6 The Devil Inside Paramount Pictures $7,900,000 - 77% $46,247,000
7 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo SONY $6,800,000 - 40% $87,981,000
8 Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked Twentieth Century Fox $5,800,000 - 39% $118,781,288
9 War Horse Walt Disney Pictures $5,607,000 - 35% $65,779,000
10 The Iron Lady The Weinstein Company $5,386,000 + 2954% $5,973,621
11 We Bought a Zoo Twentieth Century Fox $5,200,000 - 37% $63,688,534
12 The Adventures of Tintin Paramount $4,000,000 - 41% $67,705,000
  Also Opening/Notables
  We Need to Talk About Kevin Oscilloscope $44,000 New $83,297
  The Divide Anchor Bay $18,000 New $18,000
  Sing Your Song S2bn Films $12,301 New $12,301
  Pariah Focus Features $98,631 - 10% $371,000
  A Separation Sony Pictures Classics $80,026 - 14% $322,049
  The Darkest Hour Summit Entertainment $1,024,000 - 67% $20,473,174
  Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close WARNER BROS. $88,000 - 11% $632,000
  In the Land of Blood and Honey FilmDistrict $39,985 + 24% $144,930
  Carnage Wellspring Cinema $785,590 + 618% $1,372,055
  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Fox Searchlight $3,160,945 - 42% $15,102,721
  New Year's Eve New Line Cinema $1,050,000 - 66% $53,704,000
  The Artist The Weinstein Company $1,167,000 + 4% $8,763,779
  My Week With Marilyn The Weinstein Company $453,000 - 45% $11,326,710
  The Descendants Fox Searchlight $2,035,000 - 21% $47,039,196
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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