Both Contraband and Beauty and the Beast 3D opened higher than expected over the long 4-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Two weeks in and 2012 is off to a great start without any intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Contraband took home the crown with an extremely impressive $28.5 million take over the 4-day weekend. As far as Mark Wahlberg movies go, that’s his 7th highest opening yet but unlike all those films before, he was the main pull for Contraband. I guess the smell of Max Payne has finally gone. Contraband could finish around $65-70 million or more, depending on how well it can hold its own next weekend against another fresh batch of action movies.
Coming in 2nd was Beauty and the Beast 3D. The re-released Disney classic grabbed $22.3 million over the 4-day weekend pushing the domestic lifetime gross of the film to $193.5 million. Very impressive considering Disney almost didn’t release this 3D version, not to mention it’s already available on Blu-ray (but then how many families have a 3D TV at home?) Beauty and the Beast should at least grab $60 million from this new 3D box office run, bringing its total to $231 million or more.
In 3rd place Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol continued to play very well even with Contraband clearly stealing some of its audience. With $14.2 million over the 4-day weekend Ghost Protocol is now at $189.4 million, higher than the $180.9 million of Mission: Impossible (1996) and $26 million short of Mission: Impossible 2 (2000). Ghost Protocol is gonna drop under $1 million a day starting this week and next weekend $7 million is be as high as it can go. Basically it will reach $200 million sometime next week, either Monday or Tuesday. From that point on there’s a 50/50 chance it can pull $15 million more (maybe with a bit of help from Paramount later in its run) and become the highest grosser of the series.
Joyful Noise was 4th and in line with expectations taking $13.8 million over the 4-day weekend. It’s a good opening but let’s just say that it won’t make Queen Latifah’s top 10, not even close (15th actually). Now Dolly Parton hasn’t been seen on the big screen for 20 years so for her I guess it’s better.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows rounds up the top 5 with $10.4 million for $172 million after 32 days. It’s now $19.5 million behind Sherlock Holmes (2009) so on track to finish at $190-195 million. Former leader The Devil Inside was 6th with $9 million over the 4-day weekend while newly expanded Meryl Streep drama The Iron Lady was only 11th with $6.6 million over the 4-day weekend. Oh well, at least it got her a Golden Globe (her 8th, but who’s counting anymore at this point), not like anyone expected The King’s Speech ($138.8 million) out of this.