MLK as in Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, that means instead of 3 days we get a full blown 4-day weekend so naturally numbers will be inflated. Today Beauty and the Beast gets a 3D re-release, Contraband stars Marky Mark and Dolly Parton returns to the big screen in the musical Joyful Noise.
The contenders for the top spot are Beauty and the Beast and Contraband but my pick for first place is going to be the classic Disney 3D re-release. Just 4 months ago The Lion King 3D opened with $30.1 million and thus an incredible opportunity appeared for Disney, re-releasing old classics in 3D. Today we have the long delayed Beauty and the Beast 3D but over the course of 2012 we’ll also get Finding Nemo 3D and they won’t stop there. What can I say, we can’t really blame them and this way a new generation can discover some of the best animated movies of the past in glorious overpriced 3D. Beauty and the Beast 3D is set to open at about $20 million or more for the 4-day long weekend.
In 2nd place Mark Wahlberg returns to his action persona in Contraband. Now you might remember two years ago an action movie called Edge of Darkness, starring a very much hated at the time Mel Gibson. Edge of Darkness opened with $17 million but that was over a normal weekend. Contraband should do a bit more, probably $18 million over the 4-day weekend.
One of my favorite movies of the holiday, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, should come in 3rd with around $16 million over the 4-day weekend. That will bring the movie to a total of $191 million in 32 days. At the same point in its run, Mission: Impossible 2 was at $186.8 million.
In 4th place the newly released Dolly Parton musical Joyful Noise should grab $14 million or so. Featuring the story of a gospel choir trying to win a national singing competition (smells a tiny bit like Sister Act) and also starring Queen Latifah, Joyful Noise has the potential to surprise.
Rounding up the top 5 will be former leader The Devil Inside with $12 million for the 4-day weekend. That means $50 million in 11 days for the $1 million found-footage supernatural horror.
Interesting to note, The Iron Lady expands today into 802 theaters after playing in very limited release for the past two weeks. It won’t be no The King’s Speech but it should get a top 10 spot with $6 million or so.
Next week Kate Beckinsale returns to the role of vampire Selene in Underworld Awakening, Steven Soderbergh is back with action flick Haywire while Red Tails brings a lot of black actors together for a World War 2 drama about a crew of pilots.