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Weekend Wrap-Up: Contrary to Expectations

January 18th, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day long weekend was mostly filled with good news, with all three films doing at least respectable business, while we had a couple holdovers which beat expectations. Contraband was surprisingly strong earning top spot with relative ease. And while it couldn't match The Green Hornet's debut from last year, the overall box office was very solid at $132 million over three days and $163 million over four. The three-day total was 5% lower than last weekend, but 1.5% higher than last year. The four-day total was 2.6% higher than last year. It's obviously way too early to judge 2012's box office run, but at the moment it is 14% higher than last year's pace at $483 million to $423 million.

Most people thought Contraband would come out on top of the box office, and it turns out most people were right. It earned $24.35 million / $28.52 million during its opening weekend, which was better than expected and very good for this time of year. Likewise, its reviews are good, given the genre and time of year. Or perhaps I should describe them as "good enough". I don't expect long legs, but if it can get to $60 million domestically, then it should have no trouble reaching profitability by the home market.

Beauty and the Beast 3D didn't quite match predictions and with Contraband outperforming most analysts, it had to settle for second place. It did pull in $17.75 million / $22.21 million over the weekend, which is excellent for a re-release. With stellar reviews and a lack of direct competition, it should hold on quite well over the coming weeks and I think the studio will be happy with its box office run.

Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol earned fourth place with $11.69 million / $14.20 million over the weekend for a total of $189.45 million. At this point, reaching $200 million is practically assured. In fact, it might get there by this time next week.

Joyful Noise only managed fourth place with $11.23 million / $13.80 million over the weekend. This isn't a bad start, but it is definitely a lesser release. Its reviews are also quite weak and I don't expect it to have great legs. On the other hand, it should have no trouble matching its production budget domestically, while it could break even early in its home market run.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows managed to stick around in the top five for one more week with $8.59 million / $10.44 million. The film's running tally has reached $172.04 million, which is more than enough to ensure profitability sooner rather than later and I suspect the third installment in the franchise is on its way.

The Devil Inside saw a near record collapse plummeting 76% over the three-day portion of the weekend earning $8.03 million. Adding in Monday, the film only managed $9.03 million. The biggest second weekend collapse for a film that opened in first place is held by Friday the 13th at just over 80%, but this film's performance was the second worst. On the plus side, this was an inexpensive movie to make, and with $47.38 million so far, it might already be in the black. (It depends on how much the P&A budget was.)

The Iron Lady just missed the top ten with $5.41 million / $6.63 million over the weekend for a total of $7.22 million including its previous limited release. Its per theater average suggests some room for expansion, but its reviews suggest the word-of-mouth won't be strong enough to expand truly wide.


Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Beauty and the Beast, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol, Joyful Noise, The Iron Lady, Contraband, The Devil Inside