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Weekend Box-Office: January 13-15, 2012

Contraband grabs your dough!

This weekend's craving was clearly more for action than animation, and Mark Wahlberg was armed and ready for it -- his R-rated bullet-riddled thriller CONTRABAND took the top with $24.1 million in its first weekend. As the first action release of 2012, the remake of the Icelandic movie REYKJAVIK-ROTTERDAM (which starred and was produced by CONTRABAND director Baltasar Kormakur) was there to satisfy the gunfight appetite of audiences.

The 3D re-release of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST danced into second with $18.4 million, quite a ways below last September's $30M opening for THE LION KING's 3D reissue. Perhaps parents are tired of trucking the kids to theaters every weekend after the constant barrage of family material that's been hitting screens since before Thanksgiving. Or maybe when it comes to Disney's back catalog, Belle and her furry beau just aren't as popular as Simba's circle of life? Whatever the case, business should remain brisk on Monday as many people have the day off for the Martin Luther King holiday.

The weekend's other new release, the gospel comedy JOYFUL NOISE, landed in fourth with $11.3M. Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton were nipping at the dangling toes of Tom Cruise, whose skyscraper-scaling MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL was just above with $11.5M. Between the domestic and international grosses, the latest entry in the M:I action-espionage franchise has now climbed over the $500M mark.

Things didn't hold up nearly as well for last weekend's shocking first place finisher -- THE DEVIL INSIDE dropped 76% in its second week and landed in sixth place (behind SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS in its fifth week of release) with just $7.9M, an even greater plunge than the typical 60+% of many genre releases in their second week. Still, considering it's a movie nobody liked and it already made $46.2M on a miniscule investment, Paramount is cheerfully stuffing your cash into its pockets and trying to come up with the next inexpensive method to rip you off.

This week said goodbye to THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN and WE BOUGHT A ZOO, as THE IRON LADY popped her head into the Top 10 with an 800 screen expansion from limited release (and the third highest per-screen average on the list). Outside the chart, there's still life in other awards-buzzed movies like TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY (up to $15.1M), THE DESCENDANTS ($47M) and THE ARTIST ($8.7M), each of which are only on a few hundred screens.

Aside from the wide expansion of the 9/11 drama EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE, next weekend is all about the action as Steven Soderbergh's HAYWIRE, the George Lucas-produced WWII story RED TAILS and the vampire sequel UNDERWORLD AWAKENING all face off in the battle to rule the box office.

# MOVIE TITLE WKND $ TOTAL $
1. Contraband $24.1 M
NEW
2. Beauty and the Beast 3D $18.4 M
NEW
3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol $11.5 M $186.7 M
4. Joyful Noise $11.3 M
NEW
5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows $8.4 M $170 M
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo $8.3 M $87.9 M
7. The Devil Inside $7.9 M $46.2 M
8. Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked $5.8 M $118.7 M
9. War Horse $5.6 M $65.7 M
10. The Iron Lady $5.3 M $5.9 M

ACCESS BOX-OFFICE ARCHIVES HERE

Source: Box Office Mojo

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