It took 25 days for another movie to finally dethrone The Help from the top of the box office in North America. The last time something like that happened was way back in 1999 when The Sixth Sense held the top spot for 35 consecutive days. Anyway, Contagion did it and congrats to Mr. Soderbergh for a well deserved opening weekend.
Contagion made $22.4 million, more then enough to secure first place from The Help. For Steven Soderbergh this is his second biggest opening yet outside of the Ocean’s franchise (all three opening above $36 million). It also marks the second best opening for star Matt Damon since the Bourne Ultimatum and his 5th collaboration with director Steven Soderbergh. Contagion cost $60 million to make so it will need to make a lot more money over the next few weeks, I’m thinking it could finish around $70-80 million.
The Help, finally 2nd after winning 3 consecutive weekends, grossed $8.9 million and is now at $139.1 million after 35 days. Newcomer Warrior finished 3rd with $5.2 million. A bit disappointing for the $25 million Lionsgate fighter movie. Only fantastic box office legs can turn this around since right now I can’t see it ending up with more then $15 million when it’s all said and done.
The Debt was down to 4th place with $4.7 million for $22.7 million after 14 days. On the other hand, Colombiana was up from 6th to 5th place this weekend thanks to $3.9 million and awful holdovers (Apollo 18 and Shark Night 3D). Rise of the Planet of the Apes was 6th with $3.8 million and $168.4 million after 40 days. At this point it won’t finish above the $180 million made by the 2001 Planet of the Apes remake but it will come awfully close.
The other two new releases of the weekend had absolutely atrocious box office results. The Adam Sandler written Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star grossed only 1.4 million, finishing in 15th place while Creature actually managed to fare worse, much much worse. It only made $0.3 million in 1507 theaters, that means a per-theater average of just $217 over the weekend. That’s the 2nd worst per-theater average ever for a wide release. Probably only 20-25 people saw it over the weekend on average in a single theater.