The Help has finally found its match at the box office in Soderbergh’s latest flick, the thriller Contagion. There are actually quite a few movies opening and with the same being true for the coming weekends, September won’t suffer when it comes to quantity. Now quality, that will be up for debate at the end of the month.
We’ll start with Contagion since it’s the biggest of the four wide releases of the weekend, opening in 3222 theaters. Director Steven Soderbergh had a great streak about 10 years ago with Erin Brockovich, Traffic and Ocean’s Eleven. That’s 3 movies that made over $100 million each in less then 19 months, not something many directors can brag about. Unfortunately, he’s been a bit down on his luck lately with just Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen turning into hits. Contagion is a bit of a return to his older more successful self (if only great box office numbers equaled quality) and I’m actually really digging what I’ve seen so far from it. Reviews are very impressive at 81% on Rotten Tomatoes so I’m going to say this, $25 million and first place. Budget was $60 million so an opening like that could lead to good things box office wise and come on, Steven Soderbergh deserves a comeback.
Next up for debate is 2nd place where Warrior has a though opponent in The Help. This fight is particularly interesting because the movies target males (Warrior) and females (The Help) so it’s going to be kind of a war of sexes, a bit. Sure, it’s no The Expandables versus Eat, Pray, Love, but it is an fun way to look at things. Warrior is coming out in 1869 theaters and reviews are even better then Contagion‘s, standing at 83% on Rotten Tomatoes with a 7.4/10 average. I’m thinking $11 million for Warrior and $10 million for previous leader The Help.
4th place is going to The Debt with $6 million while Rise of the Planet of the Apes or Colombiana will land in 5th with $5 million each. Finally the last two new releases, Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star (in 1500 theaters) and Creature (1507 theaters) will most likely get lost in the pack along the holdovers with no more then $2-4 million.
Next week we got Drive, Straw Dogs, I Don’t Know How She Does It and the remastered in 3D re-release of The Lion King, probably the most interesting offering of the bunch.