I know when Laremy was writing up Contraband opened with $8.7 million on Friday and is expected to end the three-day weekend in the $25 million range, which would match the film’s reported production budget.
Disney’s release of Beauty and the Beast in 3D was Contraband‘s largest competition and the obvious concern comes when you consider last September Disney bowed The Lion King in 3D to the tune of $30 million. Would audiences show as much support for the first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture?
Turns out the answer is no as Beauty pulled in $5.6 million on Friday, but when you consider the 3D edition of this film is already available on Blu-ray and I believe The Lion King holds a larger general audience appeal across age and, particularly, gender lines, I think this is a great opening as it should hold on to second for the three-day weekend and end somewhere around $19 million.
In third and fourth are newcomer Joyful Noise and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, both coming in around $3.3 million for the weekend and I expect both will come in somewhere in the $11-12 million range. I’ll give the edge to Joyful Noise since the ladies may be looking for something to watch other than the NFL playoffs and Mission may suffer ever so slightly for the same reason.
In fifth comes last weekend’s number one film, The Devil Inside. After opening to scathing critical reviews and equally disappointing CinemaScores from audience members, The Devil Inside dropped 85% from one Friday to the next, bringing in $2.7 million yesterday and should end the weekend in the $8 million range, a 76% drop from last weekend’s box-office topping $33.7 million.
When it comes to the bottom five, the standout is clearly The Iron Lady, which expanded from five theaters to 802 along with a massive marketing push as I believe I received no fewer than five emails a day from the Weinstein Co. each and every day last week promoting the film. And it all appears to have paid off as the Meryl Streep starrer pulled in $1.5 million on Friday and should take in somewhere around $5 million for the three-day, and perhaps add even more on Monday should Streep take home the Golden Globe on Sunday night… I’m predicting she will at this moment.
I’ve included Friday’s estimated top ten directly below and will be back tomorrow morning with the complete results and be sure to return tomorrow night for our live blog covering the 2012 Golden Globes… it should be fun.